Nicotine and carcinogen exposure after water pipe smoking in hookah bars. Water pipe tobacco smoking is spreading globally and is increasingly becoming popular in the United States, particularly among young people. Although many perceive water pipe smoking to be relatively safe, clinical experimental studies indicate significant exposures to tobacco smoke carcinogens following water pipe use. We investigated biomarkers of nicotine intake and carcinogen exposure from water pipe smoking in the naturalistic setting of hookah bars. Fifty-five experienced water pipe users were studied before and after smoking water pipe in their customary way in a hookah bar. Urine samples were analyzed for nicotine, cotinine, the tobacco-specific nitrosamine, 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanol (NNAL), and mercapturic acid metabolites of volatile organic compounds (VOC).
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