Marker suggests high second-hand smoke exposure in disadvantaged kids | News

By Shereen Lehman

(Reuters Health) – Nearly all the adolescents in an economically disadvantaged, largely minority population in San Francisco who were tested for a tobacco-smoke byproduct showed evidence of regular exposure, a small study found.

Researchers were looking for an accurate marker of tobacco smoke exposure that could also distinguish smokers from those who were just exposed to second-hand smoke. In tests of urine samples from pediatric patients of a public hospital, they found that more than 90 percent were above the cutoff for second-hand exposure.

The marker the study team used, known as NNAL, is detectable in urine for much longer periods after tobacco exposure than cotinine, another compound commonly used to…

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