Research paper
CC-BY-NC 4.0

Do brand characteristics contribute significantly to variability in toxicant exposure in smokers? Data from NHANES 2007-2012

Richard J O'Connor 1  ,  
Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, New York, USA
University at Buffalo, State University of New York, Buffalo, New York, USA
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2017;3(February):4
Publish date: 2017-02-02
This study sought to quantify the difference in serum cotinine and other biomarkers indicative of cigarette smoking in current US cigarette smokers attributable to brand level versus individual level factors.

A total of 2,558 daily exclusive smokers, 20 years and older in the United States participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys 2007-2012 and provided biospecimens and cigarette brand information. Exposure biomarkers were serum cotinine, and urinary NNAL, PAHs, and heavy metals. Adjustments were made for demographics, cigarettes per day, brand, tar group (≤ 6mg, >6-15mg, >15mg), and menthol.

The most commonly reported brands of US cigarettes were Marlboro, Newport, Camel, and Pall Mall. Cotinine levels differed by age (p=0.0065), race (p<0.0001), and cigarettes smoked per day (p<0.0001) but not brand, tar or menthol. Brand family was significantly associated with urinary levels of NNAL, 1HP, HFs, and HPHs. Person-level factors accounted for some of these differences. No consistent differences in metal exposure by brand were noted. Overall, brand information accounted for 2-8% of variance depending on the marker. Together, age, sex, race, education, and cigarettes smoked per day accounted for 20% in variance in cotinine levels, and adding the brand information (brand family, tar group, menthol) to the model accounted for an additional 0.5% (p<0.0948).

Brand to brand differences seen in serum cotinine levels and other biomarkers indicative of cigarette smoking between the top US cigarette brands from 2007-2012 are primarily driven by individual differences among smokers, and less by differences among products.

Richard J O'Connor   
Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Elm and Carlton Streets, 14263 Buffalo, NY, United States