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Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health: Measurement of Tobacco-Related Biomarkers

Principal Investigator: Ben Blount

Funding Mechanism: Interagency Agreement

ID number: 224-10-9022

Award Date: 7/16/2012

Institution: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


The Tobacco Control Act mandates the regulation of tobacco products using a population health standard including both users and non-users of tobacco products. To help meet this mandate, the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) study -- a nationally representative, longitudinal cohort study that will survey tobacco product users, never users, and former users including youth aged 12-17 and adults aged 18 and older – is gathering data on tobacco product use, attitudes, and health conditions and is collecting biological specimens (buccal cells, urine, and blood) from consenting adults. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention Division of Laboratory Sciences will test a subset of these specimens for known biomarkers of tobacco product exposure and biomarkers of harmful and potentially harmful constituents (HPHCs) in tobacco products.  Biomarkers to be analyzed include nicotine and nicotine metabolites; tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs); metabolites of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs); various metals; multiple species of arsenic; 4-aminobiphenyl (4-ABP) hemoglobin; volatile organic compound (VOCs) metabolites; volatile nitrosamines; aromatic amines; cyanide; high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP); cotinine; and creatinine. The full panel of tobacco exposure biomarkers listed above will be measured in the PATH Field Study and a subset of these biomarkers will be measured in up to 10,000 participant samples annually through August 2016. Together with the data collected form the main PATH questionnaire, these analyte measurements will provide information that can be used to analyze between-person differences and within-person changes over time in tobacco product use patterns and behaviors, attitudes and risk perceptions, tobacco-related biomarkers of exposure and harm, and health conditions.


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