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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


MARTINEZ-SANCHEZ, Jose M. et al. Secondhand exposure to aerosol from electronic cigarettes: pilot study of assessment of tobacco-specific nitrosamine (NNAL) in urine. Gac Sanit [online]. 2019, vol.33, n.6, pp.575-578.  Epub Jan 27, 2020. ISSN 0213-9111.


To assess the levels of a tobacco-specific nitrosamine (NNAL) in non-smokers passively exposed to the second-hand aerosol (SHA) emitted from users of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes).


We conducted an observational study involving 55 non-smoking volunteers divided into three groups: 25 living at home with conventional smokers, 6 living with e-cigarette users, and 24 in control homes (smoke-free homes). We obtained urine samples from all volunteers to determine NNAL.


We detected NNAL in the urine of volunteers exposed to e-cigarettes (median:0.55 pg/mL; interquartile range: 0.26-2.94 pg/mL). The percentage of urine samples with quantifiable NNAL differed significantly among the three groups of homes: 29.2%, 66.7% and 76.0%, respectively (p=0.004).


We found NNAL nitrosamine in urine samples from people exposed to SHA from e-cigarettes. However, these results could be confirmed with more studies with larger sample sizes.

Keywords : Biomarkers; Nitrosamines; Second-hand aerosol; Electronic cigarette.

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