Background: Former smokers who currently use e-cigarettes have lower concentrations of biomarkers of tobacco toxicant exposure than current smokers. It is unclear whether tobacco toxicant exposure reductions may lead to health risk reductions.
Methods: We compared inflammatory biomarkers (high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, IL6, fibrinogen, soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1) and an oxidative stress marker (F2-isoprostane) among 3,712 adult participants in Wave 1 (2013-2014) of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study by tobacco user groups: dual users of cigarettes and e-cigarettes; former smokers who currently use e-cigarettes-only; current cigarette-only smokers; former smokers who do not currently use any tobacco; and never tobacco users. We calculated geometric means (GM) and estimated adjusted GM ratios (GMR).
Results: Dual users experienced greater concentration of F2-isoprostane than current cigarette-only smokers [GMR 1.09 (95% confidence interval, CI, 1.03-1.15)]. Biomarkers were similar between former smokers who currently use e-cigarettes and both former smokers who do not use any tobacco and never tobacco users, but among these groups most biomarkers were lower than those of current cigarette-only smokers. The concentration of F2-isoprostane decreased by time since smoking cessation among both exclusive e-cigarette users (P trend = 0.03) and former smokers who do not currently use any tobacco (P trend = 0.0001).
Conclusions: Dual users have greater concentration of F2-isoprostane than smokers. Exclusive e-cigarette users have biomarker concentrations that are similar to those of former smokers who do not currently use tobacco, and lower than those of exclusive cigarette smokers.
Impact: This study contributes to an understanding of the health effects of e-cigarettes.
©2021 American Association for Cancer Research.