Biomarkers to assess the utility of potential reduced exposure tobacco products

Nicotine Tob Res. 2006 Aug;8(4):600-22. doi: 10.1080/14622200600858166.


To date, we have no valid biomarkers that serve as proxies for tobacco-related disease to test potential reduced exposure products. This paper represents the deliberations of four workgroups that focused on four tobacco-related heath outcomes: Cancer, nonmalignant pulmonary disease, cardiovascular disease, and fetal toxicity. The goal of these workgroups was to identify biomarkers that offer some promise as measures of exposure or toxicity and ultimately may serve as indicators for future disease risk. Recommendations were based on the relationship of the biomarker to what is known about mechanisms of tobacco-related pathogenesis, the extent to which the biomarker differs among smokers and nonsmokers, and the sensitivity of the biomarker to changes in smoking status. Other promising biomarkers were discussed. No existing biomarkers have been demonstrated to be predictive of tobacco-related disease, which highlights the importance and urgency of conducting research in this area.

Publication types

  • Corrected and Republished Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / metabolism*
  • Carcinogens / analysis*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Fetus / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases / physiopathology
  • Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Tobacco / adverse effects*
  • Tobacco / metabolism
  • Tobacco / toxicity


  • Biomarkers
  • Carcinogens