Effect of Cigar, Pipe Smoke on Lung Function Assessed

Pipe, cigar smoking linked to increased urine cotinine levels, decreased lung function
By Eric Metcalf
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Cigar and pipe smoking have been linked with higher urine cotinine levels and airflow obstruction, even in those who have never smoked cigarettes, according to research published in the Feb. 16 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Josanna Rodriguez, M.D., of Columbia University in New York City, and colleagues analyzed data from 3,528 adults aged 48 to 90 years. Nine percent reported smoking pipes, 11 percent had smoked cigars, and 52 percent had smoked cigarettes.

The researchers found that subjects who only smoked pipes or cigars had higher odds of airflow obstruction than never-smokers (odds ratio, 2.31), and odds were even higher in those who had also smoked cigarettes (odds ratio, 3.43). Current pipe and cigar smokers had higher urine cotinine levels than never-smokers (1,324 and 43 ng/mL versus less than 10 ng/mL, respectively). Greater pipe- or cigar-years were associated with more decrements in lung function.

"Rodriguez and colleagues have shown that smoke, whether from cigarette, pipe, or cigar, will result in absorption of one of the most addictive chemicals known, nicotine, and will produce measurable lung damage. Tobacco users and health care providers alike need to fully understand the true harms caused by all tobacco products and the role that these products play in a larger public health battle," write the authors of an accompanying editorial.

One author reported financial relationships with Karmel-Sonix and the University of Wisconsin. One editorial author reported financial relationships with Pfizer and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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