Carbon Monoxide in the Expired Air and Urinary Cotinine Levels of e-Cigarette Users

Turk Thorac J. 2019 Apr 1;20(2):125-129. doi: 10.5152/TurkThoracJ.2018.18110. Print 2019 Apr.


Objectives: The aim of this descriptive study was to determine the sociodemographic characteristics of electronic (e)-cigarette users for clarifying the causes of e-cigarette smoking and to identify the carbon monoxide (CO) and urinary cotinine levels of the volunteers.

Materials and methods: Twenty volunteers who smoked e-cigarettes completed a questionnaire, and their exhaled CO and urinary cotinine levels were measured. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kit was used for cotinine analysis.

Results: Overall, 85% of the participants were males, 60% were married, and 75% were college/university graduates. The median age of participants was 38.5 years. The participants' main reasons for starting to smoke were peer influence and curiosity. The participants' main reasons for smoking e-cigarettes were to quit and reduce smoking the conventional cigarettes and cost effectiveness. Only three people knew that smoking was harmful to health. The participants' CO levels were measured as a median of 3, lowest of 1, and highest of 22. Cotinine levels were "positive" in all samples. A moderate and statistically significant correlation was found between the amount of fluids used by the participants in 1 day (mL) and cotinine levels in urine specimens (Pearson correlation test, r=0.511, p=0.025).

Conclusion: The study is an important proof of the country's scientific work on e-cigarettes. Preventive strategies should be very strictly implemented for any tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, as they harm individuals and the community.