Associations of Cigarettes Smoked Per Day with Biomarkers of Exposure Among US Adult Cigarette Smokers in the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study Wave 1 (2013-2014)


The dose-response relationships between number of cigarettes smoked per day (CPD) and health outcomes such as cancer and heart disease are well established, but much less is known about the relationships between CPD and biomarkers of exposure.


We analyzed biomarker data by CPD from over 2700 adult daily cigarette smokers in Wave 1 of the Population Assessmentof Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study. Tobacco use categories consisted of exclusive cigarette smokers, dual cigarette and e-cigaretteusers, and dual cigarette and smokeless tobacco users.


Biomarker concentrations consistently increased with CPD for each tobacco user group, although concentrations tended to level off at high smoking levels, such as those at and above 20 CPD. Dual cigarette and e-cigarette users had higher levels of some biomarkers such as TNE (Total Nicotine Equivalents)-2 (p=0.0036) than exclusive cigarette smokers, and dual cigarette and smokeless tobacco users had higher levels of NNAL (p<0.0001) and NNN (p=0.0236) than exclusive cigarette smokers.


Among daily smokers, exposure to tobacco toxicants and constituents exhibits a dose-response relationship by number of cigarettes smoked, but the relationship is not necessarily linear in form. Dual users of cigarettes with either e-cigarettes or smokeless tobacco are exposed to higher levels of certain toxicants and carcinogens than exclusive cigarette smokers.


Availability of biomarker data by CPD may aid in comparisons between cigarette smoking and use of new and potentially reduced exposure tobacco products, which may result in different levels of constituent and toxicant exposure.