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Measuring Anatalline and Nicotelline to Differentiate Non-combusted Tobacco Use Using the PATH Study

Principal Investigator: Kathryn Edwards and Gideon St. Helen

Funding Mechanism: National Institutes of Health – Grant

ID number: 1R21DA051491-01

Award Date: 7/20/2020

Institution: Westat


Biomarkers that can distinguish between types of tobacco product use can be used to help track associated health effects. The goal of this study is to measure nicotelline, a minor tobacco alkaloid associated with tobacco smoke particulate matter, in urine biospecimens gathered during Wave 1 of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study. Previous research has shown that, when expressed as a ratio with its parent compound (anatalline), nicotelline may distinguish smokeless tobacco use from combusted tobacco use. Study Aim 1 will validate the anatalline/nicotelline ratio cut-points (as well as nicotelline in combination with other tobacco exposure biomarkers) that distinguish exclusive cigarette use, exclusive smokeless tobacco use, and dual smokeless plus cigarette use (140 adults each). In Study Aim 2, researchers will use the same participant groups defined in Study Aim 1 to explore whether nicotelline and ratios of nicotelline-to-traditional tobacco biomarkers (i.e., 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanol [NNAL]) can differentiate e-cigarette use from exclusive cigarette use using data from exclusive e-cigarette users and dual e-cigarette plus cigarette users. Study findings may confirm nicotelline’s usefulness as a biomarker to discriminate among tobacco products and to identify patterns of polytobacco use.

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