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Intake of tobacco nitrosamines of smokers in various provinces of China and their cancer risk: A meta-analysis

Chao Chen , Xiao Li , Zhiwei Ye , Jun Wang , Pengfei Lin , Xiaojin Zhang , Shuguang Xie


Received November 04, 2022,Revised , Accepted May 11, 2023, Available online May 23, 2023

Volume 36,2024,Pages 249-260

Nitrosamines are a class of carcinogens which have been detected widely in food, water, some pharmaceuticals as well as tobacco. The objectives of this paper include reviewing the basic information on tobacco consumption and nitrosamine contents, and assessing the health risks of tobacco nitrosamines exposure to Chinese smokers. We searched the publications in English from “Web of Science” and those in Chinese from the “China National Knowledge Infrastructure” in 2022 and collected 151 literatures with valid information. The content of main nitrosamines in tobacco, including 4-(methylnitrosoamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK), N-nitrosonornicotine (NNN), N-nitrosoanatabine (NAT), N-nitrosoanabasine (NAB), total tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNA), and N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) were summarized. The information of daily tobacco consumption of smokers in 30 provinces of China was also collected. Then, the intakes of NNN, NNK, NAT, NAB, TSNAs, and NDMA via tobacco smoke were estimated as 1534 ng/day, 591 ng/day, 685 ng/day, 81 ng/day, 2543 ng/day, and 484 ng/day by adult smokers in 30 provinces, respectively. The cancer risk (CR) values for NNN and NNK inhalation intake were further calculated as 1.44 × 10−5 and 1.95 × 10−4. The CR value for NDMA intake via tobacco smoke (inhalation: 1.66 × 10−4) indicates that NDMA is similarly dangerous in tobacco smoke when compared with the TSNAs. In China, the CR values caused by average nitrosamines intake via various exposures and their order can be estimated as the following: smoke (3.75 × 10−4) > food (1.74 × 10−4) > drinking water (1.38 × 10−5). Smokers in China averagely suffer 200% of extra cancer risk caused by nitrosamines in tobacco when compared with non-smokers.

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