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Minor Tobacco Alkaloids as Biomarkers to Distinguish Combusted Tobacco Use From Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems Use. Two New Analytical Methods


Biomarkers for the use of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) are desirable for studies of the health effects of electronic cigarettes and related devices. However, the aerosols inhaled from these devices do not contain substances that are unique to this class of products, i.e., substances that are not present in cigarette smoke or those that do not have common environmental or dietary sources. Consequently, identifying selective biomarkers for ENDS use remains a challenge. If co-use of conventional tobacco products can be definitively ruled out, then nicotine and its metabolites are suitable for assessing exposure. Self-reports from questionnaires are often used to obtain information on product use. But self-reports may not always be accurate, and are not amenable to obtaining quantitative information on exposure. An alternative approach is to use selective biomarkers for conventional tobacco products to definitively rule out their use. In this article, we describe two new LC-MS/MS methods for the minor tobacco alkaloids anabasine, anatabine, nicotelline, anatalline, and 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanol (NNAL), a tobacco-specific nitrosamine metabolite, all biomarkers that are selective for the use of conventional tobacco products. Applications of these biomarkers in studies of ENDS use and dual use of ENDS and conventional tobacco products are also discussed.

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