Nicotine and its 5 major metabolites (Nicotine equivalents, NE) may serve as a surrogate biomarker for smoke exposure.
Objective: To investigate the relationship between nicotine equivalents (NE) and biomarkers of exposure (BOE) to cigarette smoke.
Methods: Data from nine controlled studies in 916 adult smokers were used. BOEs to nicotine, NNK, pyrene, acrolein, benzene, 1,3-butadiene and CO were used.
Results: Among all the factors investigated (NE, cigarette type, age, gender, BMI and study), NE was the most statistically significant factor for all biomarker relationships. Weak to moderate relationships (0.32 ≤ R(2) ≤ 0.65) were found between NE and the BOEs.
Conclusions: Based on the relationships with BOEs, NE may be considered as a surrogate biomarker of total cigarette smoke exposure.