Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California


UC San Francisco Previously Published Works bannerUCSF

Tobacco toxicant exposure in cigarette smokers who use or do not use other tobacco products

Published Web Location
No data is associated with this publication.
Creative Commons 'BY-NC-SA' version 4.0 license


Non-cigarette other tobacco products (OTP; e.g., cigarillos, little cigars) are typically used in combination with cigarettes, but limited data exists on the tobacco toxicant exposure profiles of dual cigarette-OTP (Cig-OTP) users. This study examined biomarkers of nicotine and carcinogen exposure in cigarette smokers who used or did not use OTP.


111 Cig-OTP and 111 cigarette only (Cig Only) users who smoked equivalent cigarettes per day were matched on age (< 40, >=40), race (African American, White), and gender. Participants reported past 7-day daily use of cigarettes and OTP and provided urine for nicotine, cotinine, total nicotine equivalents (TNE) and total NNAL concentrations.


Cig-OTP users reported greater past 7-day tobacco use (15.9 versus 13.0 products/day, p<0.01) but had significantly lower creatinine-normalized nicotine (606 versus 1301ng/mg), cotinine (1063 versus 2125ng/mg), TNE (28 versus 57 nmol/mg) and NNAL (251 versus 343pg/mg) than Cig Only users (p<0.001).


Cig-OTP users had lower levels of nicotine and metabolites of a lung carcinogen relative to Cig-Only users, but concentrations of toxicants among Cig-OTP users were still at levels that place smokers at great risk from the detrimental health effects of smoking.


Our study finds that nicotine and carcinogen exposure in Cig-OTP users are lower compared to cigarette only users, but still likely to be associated with substantial harm. A better understanding of why toxicant levels may be lower in Cig-OTP is an important area for future study.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Item not freely available? Link broken?
Report a problem accessing this item