Skip to main content

A comparison of exposure to carcinogens among roll-your-own and factory-made cigarette smokers

Buy Article:

$51.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)



Consumption of roll-your-own (RYO) tobacco is rising, but little is known about its in vivo delivery of toxins relative to factory-made (FM) cigarettes. To start to address this issue, this study compared the concentrations of metabolites of recognized human carcinogens in smokers of RYO tobacco and FM cigarettes. We opportunistically recruited 127 FM and 28 RYO cigarette smokers in central London and collected saliva and urine samples. Saliva samples were assayed for cotinine while urinary samples were assayed for 1-hydroxypyrene (1-HOP) and total 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanol (NNAL), metabolic markers of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and tobacco-specific N-nitrosamines, respectively. Data on socio-demographic, anthropometric and puffing characteristics were also obtained. Both unadjusted and adjusted analyses (controlling for age, sex, body mass index, puff flow, puff duration and cotinine) showed no difference in metabolic markers between RYO and FM cigarette smokers. However, significant main effects for cotinine levels and sex were observed in adjusted analyses. Greater levels of cotinine were associated with a greater concentration of both 1-HOP (B = 0.002, P = 0.037) and NNAL (B = 0.002, P < 0.001). In addition, women had significantly greater concentrations of urinary 1-HOP (B = 0.679, P = 0.004) and total NNAL metabolites (B = 0.117, P = 0.024) than men, irrespective of the type of cigarettes smoked. More research is now needed to confirm these findings and gender-specific effects in a larger, representative sample. However, results do not support the common belief that RYO cigarettes are less harmful than manufactured cigarettes.

Keywords: 1-HOP; Factory-made cigarettes; roll-your-own cigarettes; sex difference; tobacco carcinogens; total NNAL

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, UK and 2: Division of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Nottingham, UK

Publication date: July 1, 2009

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Partial Open Access Content
Partial Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more