Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Biomarkers of Exposure and Potential Harm Among U.S. Adult Exclusive e-Cigarette Users: 2013–2019
Drug and Alcohol Dependence
Objective: Provide evidence on racial and ethnic differences in biomarkers of exposure from rising e-cigarette use among U.S. adults.
Methods: Data were drawn from Waves 1-5 of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health study (September 2013-November 2019). Differences in biomarkers of exposure and potential harm (BOE/BoPH) across non-Hispanic (NH)-Whites, NH Blacks, Hispanic/Latinos, and NH others were examined using generalized estimation equations.
Results: Among exclusive e-cigarette users, mean concentrations of BOEs/BoPHs were not significantly different across NH Blacks (n=97), NH others (n=122), and NH Whites (n=1062), after adjustment by wave, age, sex, education, exposure to the secondhand smoke, and the number of recent puffs. Compared to NH Whites, Hispanics (n=151) had lower concentrations of nicotine equivalents (0.5[0.2-1.7] vs. 15.5 [12.5-19.1] nmol/mg creatinine, p<.0001), cotinine (33.4[9.7-114.7] vs. 1008.3 [808.3-1257.9] ng/mg creatinine, p<.0001), and 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanol (NNAL) (2.6[1.5-4.4] vs. 5.7 [4.9-6.6] pg/mg creatinine, p=.004), but similar concentrations of BOEs for heavy metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, volatile organic compounds, and oxidative stress. Differences between Hispanics and NH Whites are expected, given different e-cigarette use profiles. Specifically, Hispanics were less likely to be daily vapers (49.4[35.1-63.8]% vs 81.3[77.7-84.5]%, p<.0001) and nicotine e-cigarette users (72.7 [64.0-79.9]% vs. 89.2 [86.4-91.5]%, p=.0002] and reported a lower number of recent puffs (mean[standard error]=16.7[3.6] vs. 28.6[2.0], p=.02] than their NH-White counterparts. Hispanic vapers were also less likely than NH Whites to have previously smoked cigarettes (49.7 [37.2-62.3]% vs. 88.5 [84.7-91.5]%, p<.0001]).
Conclusions: Hispanic vapers exhibited lower exposure to nicotine metabolites and carcinogens than their non-Hispanic White counterparts. The harm reduction potential from e-cigarette use are likely to be realized across diverse racial and ethnic groups.
Dai HD, Nollen N, Rennard S, Guenzel N, Pham H, Khan A. Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Biomarkers of Exposure and Potential Harm Among U.S. Adult Exclusive e-Cigarette Users: 2013–2019. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 2023; . doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2023.110984.