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QuickStats: Median Serum Cotinine Levels in Nonsmokers, by Age Group
--- National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES),
United States,1988--1991 through 2001--2002
* NHANES III was conducted in two phases: October 1988--September 1991 and October 1991--September 1994. Additional information is available
Cotinine is a metabolite only of nicotine. Among nonsmokers, the presence of cotinine in serum indicates exposure
to secondhand tobacco smoke. From 1988--1991 through 2001--2002, median serum cotinine levels decreased by 74%
in children aged 4--11 years, 79% in persons aged 12--19 years, and 83% in persons aged
>20 years, suggesting a substantial reduction in the exposure of the U.S. population to secondhand tobacco smoke.
SOURCE: Pirkle JL, Bernert JT, Caudill SP, Sosnoff CS, Pechacek TF. Trends in the exposure of nonsmokers in the
U.S. population to secondhand smoke: 1988--2002. Environ Health Perspect 2006;114:853--8.
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