Biomarkers of Exposure to Secondhand and Thirdhand Tobacco Smoke: Recent Advances and Future Perspectives
Department of Electronic Engineering, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Països Catalans 26, 43007 Tarragona, Spain
Institut d’Investigació Sanitària Pere Virgili, Escorxador s/n, 43003 Tarragona, Spain
CIBERDEM, Spanish Biomedical Research Centre in Diabetes and Associated Metabolic Disorders, Carlos III Health Institute, Monforte de Lemos 3-5, 28029 Madrid, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Both authors contributed equally to the paper.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(12), 2693; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15122693
Received: 31 August 2018 / Revised: 19 November 2018 / Accepted: 22 November 2018 / Published: 29 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Tobacco Smoke: Exposure and Effects)
Smoking is the leading preventable disease worldwide and passive smoking is estimated to be the cause of about 1.0% of worldwide mortality. The determination of tobacco smoke biomarkers in human biological matrices is key to assess the health effects related to the exposure to environmental tobacco smoke. The biomonitoring of cotinine, the main nicotine metabolite, in human biofluids—including urine, serum or saliva—has been extensively used to assess this exposure. However, the simultaneous determination of cotinine together with other tobacco biomarkers and the selection of alternative biological matrices, such as hair, skin or exhaled breath, would enable a better characterization of the kind and extent of tobacco exposure. This review aims to perform a critical analysis of the up-to-date literature focused on the simultaneous determination of multiple tobacco smoke biomarkers studied in different biological matrices, due to the exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) and thirdhand smoke (THS). Target biomarkers included both tobacco-specific biomarkers—nicotine and tobacco specific nitrosamine biomarkers—and tobacco-related biomarkers, such as those from polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, volatile organic compounds, metals and carbon monoxide. To conclude, we discuss the suitability of determining multiple biomarkers through several relevant examples of SHS and THS exposure.