[Usefulness of biological markers in evaluation of smoking]

Pathol Biol (Paris). 2004 Apr;52(3):164-72. doi: 10.1016/j.patbio.2003.05.003.
[Article in French]


Tobacco exposure can be assessed by the measurement of several markers in biological fluids. These markers are more or less specific for tobacco and the different methods to measure them out differ in terms of sensibility, specificity, ease of use and cost. The clinician prescribing a dosage for a patient has to take all these parameters into account to make an accurate choice. In this article, we have analysed the usefulness of the main biological tobacco markers in the follow-up of smokers and compared their methods of dosage. We propose several indications and point out the interest of relevant markers to realize objective measurements of smoking habits.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Air
  • Alkaloids / analysis
  • Artifacts
  • Biomarkers
  • Carbon Monoxide / analysis
  • Carbon Monoxide / blood
  • Carboxyhemoglobin / analysis
  • Chromatography / methods
  • Colorimetry
  • Cotinine / blood
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • False Positive Reactions
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Immunoassay
  • Nicotine / blood
  • Nicotine / pharmacokinetics
  • Saliva / chemistry
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Smoking / metabolism*
  • Thiocyanates / analysis
  • Thiocyanates / blood
  • Thiocyanates / urine


  • Alkaloids
  • Biomarkers
  • Thiocyanates
  • Nicotine
  • Carbon Monoxide
  • Carboxyhemoglobin
  • Cotinine