J Korean Acad Fam Med.  2007 May;28(5):379-382.

Relationship between Passive Smoke and Urinary Cotinine Level

  • 1Department of Family Medicine, Inje University College of Medicine, Seoul Paik Hospital, Korea.
  • 2Department of Health Management, Inje Institute of Advanced Studies, Seoul, Korea. fmmother@freechal.com


BACKGROUND: Cotinine, a nicotine metabolite detected in urine, has been recommended as the best quantitative marker of smoking and environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) exposure. The aim of this study was to analyze the relationship between indoor ETS and urinary cotinine level of the passive smokers.
We selected 42 nonsmokers who lived in Seoul and were not exposed to passive smoking at least 5 days before test. Urinary cotinine levels were measured by Smokescreen Colorimeter (Surescreen Diagnostics LTD, U.K.). We measured urinary cotinine levels twice (before and after smoking exposure).
The mean urinary cotinine level was 0.33microgram/mL before smoking exposure, and 0.46microgram/mL after smoking exposure. There was statistically significant difference (P-value=0.003). There was no significant difference between exposure time and increase of urinary cotinine level(P=0.138, r=-0.233). There was also no significant difference between measuring time taking after exposure and increase of urinary cotinine level (P=0.671, r=0.067).
One experience of indoor exposure to ETS caused significant elevation of urinary cotinine level.


passive smoking; cotinine; nicotine
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