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Nicotine levels in silicone wristband samplers worn by children exposed to secondhand smoke and electronic cigarette vapor are highly correlated with child’s urinary cotinine

Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology (2019) | Download Citation



Exposure assessment in children, especially young children, presents difficulties not found with adults. Simple silicone wristbands are passive samplers that have potential applicability in exposure studies of children. We investigated the performance of silicone wristbands as personal nicotine samplers in two wristbands worn by a child (n = 31) for 7 days and for 2 days (worn day 5 to day 7). We compared levels of nicotine in wristbands with urinary cotinine, a metabolite of nicotine, measured in the child’s urine obtained on day 7. Children were recruited who were exposed to contaminants in tobacco smoke and/or vapor from electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS; commonly known as electronic cigarettes or EC) as well as children who lived in nonsmoking homes. Caregivers were interviewed to obtain reported measures of the child’s exposure. Analysis was by liquid chromatography with triple quadrupole mass spectrometry and isotope dilution (LC-MS/MS). The nicotine detected in the wristbands worn for 2 days was highly correlated with urinary cotinine concentration (df = 29, r2 = 0.741, p < 0.001), as was nicotine in wristbands worn for 7 days (df = 28, r2 = 0.804, p < 0.001). The 2- and 7-day wristband nicotine amounts were also significantly correlated (df = 28, r2 = 0.852, p < 0.001). Silicone wristbands may be a useful tool for epidemiological and intervention studies of tobacco product exposure in children.

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The authors express their gratitude to Christine Batikian, MPH, Viridiana Mendoza, Samuel Padilla, and Madeleine Warman for assisting with data collection, and Mansi Vyas for sample preparation. This research was supported by funds from the California Tobacco Related Disease Research Grants Program Office of the University of California, Grant Number 25IP-0023.

Author information


  1. School of Public Health, San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Dr., San Diego, CA, 92182-4162, USA

    • Penelope J. E. Quintana
    • , Eunha Hoh
    • , Brittany Akins
    • , Linda Chu
    •  & Melbourne F. Hovell
  2. San Diego State University Research Foundation, 5250 Campanile Way, San Diego, CA, 92182, USA

    • Nathan G. Dodder
    •  & Joy M. Zakarian
  3. Department of Psychology, San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Way, San Diego, CA, 92182-4611, USA

    • Georg E. Matt
  4. Department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology, Oregon State University, 2750 SW Campus Way, Corvallis, OR, 97331, USA

    • Kim A. Anderson


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Conflict of interest

KAA discloses a financial interest in MyExposome that is marketing products related to the research being reported. The terms of this arrangement have been reviewed and approved by Oregon State University in accordance with its policy on research conflict of interest. The remaining authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Penelope J. E. Quintana.

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