Environmental tobacco smoke at home and in public places prior to smoking ban enforcement: Assessment by hair analysis in a population of young adult students

Claire Roseren, Sylvia Binck, François Faÿs, Maria Ruiz-Castell, Hanen Samouda, Brice M.R. Appenzeller*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Despite inititatives to reduce tobacco consumption, smoking remains a primary cause of death for both smokers and nonsmokers exposed to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). The characteristics of some specific groups can make them more exposed to ETS or limit the benefit of prevention measures. This study investigated determinants of ETS in a population of young adult students, considered at higher risk of exposure due to their specific lifestyle. This cross-sectional study involved 90 students aged 20 ± 1.7 years, from the University of Luxembourg, prior to the smoking ban enforcement in public places in the country. Participants reported their tobacco consumption and exposure to ETS at home and/or in public places, and provided a hair sample analyzed for nicotine and cotinine. Nicotine and cotinine were significantly higher in smokers than in nonsmokers' hair in general (median: 2.6 vs. 0.9 ng/mg and 87.1 vs. 22.5 pg/mg respectively). However, nonsmokers exposed to ETS at home and in public places had comparable concentrations to smokers (nic = 2.2 ng/mg; cot = 56.2 pg/mg), whereas unexposed nonsmokers presented significantly lower values (nic = 0.4 ng/mg, cot = 8.5 pg/mg). Nonsmokers exposed to ETS only at home presented higher values than nonsmokers only exposed in public places (nic: 1.3 vs. 0.8 ng/mg, cot: 70.4 vs. 15.0 pg/mg). The study shows the widespread exposure to ETS in this population, the importance of exposure assessment, and the relevance of hair analysis for this purpose. Results suggest that ETS can lead to equivalent exposure to active smoking and that exposure at home can highly contribute to ETS, which is not solved by smoking ban in public places.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDrug Testing and Analysis
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 23 Dec 2022

Keywords

  • cotinine
  • environmental tobacco smoke
  • hair analysis
  • nicotine
  • smoking ban

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