Children’s Exposure to Secondhand and Thirdhand Smoke Carcinogens and Toxicants in Homes of Hookah Smokers

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Abstract

Introduction:

We examined homes of hookah-only smokers and nonsmokers for levels of indoor air nicotine (a marker of secondhand smoke) and indoor surface nicotine (a marker of thirdhand smoke), child uptake of nicotine, the carcinogen 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK), and the toxicant acrolein by analyzing their corresponding metabolites cotinine, 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanol (NNAL) and NNAL-glucuronides (total NNAL) and 3-hydroxypropylmercapturic acid.

Methods:

Data were collected at 3 home visits during a 7-day study period from a convenience sample of 24 households with a child 5 years or younger. Three child urine samples and 2 air and surface samples from the living room and the child bedroom were taken in homes of nonsmokers (n = 5) and hookah-only smokers (n = 19) comprised of daily hookah smokers (n = 8) and weekly/monthly hookah smokers (n = 11).

Results:

Nicotine levels in indoor air and on surfaces in the child bedrooms in homes of daily hookah smokers were significantly higher than in homes of nonsmokers. Uptake of nicotine, NNK, and acrolein in children living in daily hookah smoker homes was significantly higher than in children living in nonsmoker homes. Uptake of nicotine and NNK in children living in weekly/monthly hookah smoker homes was significantly higher than in children living in nonsmoker homes.

Conclusions:

Our data provide the first evidence for uptake of nicotine, the tobacco-specific lung carcinogen NNK, and the ciliatoxic and cardiotoxic agent acrolein in children living in homes of hookah smokers. Our findings suggest that daily and occasional hookah use in homes present a serious, emerging threat to children’s long-term health.

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