Measuring tobacco smoke exposure among smoking and nonsmoking bar and restaurant workers

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19 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study assesses the validity of hair nicotine as a biomarker for secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure. Although most biomarkers of tobacco-smoke exposure have a relatively short half-life, hair nicotine can measure several months of cumulative SHS exposure. Design: A cross-sectional study of hospitality-industry workers. Method: Hair samples were obtained from 207 bar and restaurant workers and analyzed by the reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection (HPLC-ECD) method. Self-reported tobacco use and sources of SHS exposure were assessed. Findings: Higher hair-nicotine levels were associated with more cigarettes smoked per day among smokers and a greater number of SHS-exposure sources among nonsmokers. Number of SHS exposure sources, gender, number of cigarettes smoked per day, and type of establishment predicted hair-nicotine levels. Discussion: Hair nicotine is a valid measure of SHS exposure. It may be used as an alternative biomarker to measure longer term SHS exposure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-89
Number of pages9
JournalBiological Research for Nursing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology , 39 , 665 - 669 . U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. ( 1990 ). The health benefits of smoking cessation: A report of the surgeon general (DHHS Publication No. CDC 90-8416). Washington, DC : U.S. Government Printing Office . U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. ( 1992 ). Respiratory health effects of passive smoking: Lung cancer and other disorders (Rep. No. EPA/600/6-90/006F). Washington, DC : U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Health and Environmental Assessment, Office of Research and Development . Wells, A. ( 1998 ).


  • Biomarkers
  • Hair nicotine
  • Hospitality workers
  • Secondhand smoke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Research and Theory


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