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Smoking habits and cadmium intake in Turkey

El-Agha, O
Gokmen, IG
Tobacco was estimated to account over 4 million annual deaths in 1998 and deaths attributable to tobacco usage will rise to 8.4 million in 2020 (http://tobacco.who.int/en/advocacy/wntdzoola.html.) In Turkey, 74% of the males and 29% of the females are smoking, and each year, 150,000 deaths are associated with cigaret smoking. There are 4700 chemical compounds in cigaret smoke, including 43 carcinogens. Cadmium (Cd) is only one of these harmful chemicals in the cigaret. The level of cadmium in whole blood is a reliable index of extent of recent metal uptake. In this study, cadmium concentrations in fasting whole-blood samples, from 119 healthy subjects (58 males and 61 females), ranging in age from 17 to 77 yr, who were not occupationally exposed to cadmium were measured by graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry, which is the most widely used technique for the measurement of cadmium concentrations in the whole blood. The blood cadmium concentration of nonsmokers, ex-smokers, and smokers were compared. The blood cadmium concentration of female smokers were found to be highest (mean: 2.62 +/- 0.72; median: 0.90 ng/mL Cd) and that of nonsmokers lowest (mean: 0.67 +/- 0.57; median: 0.44 ng/mL Cd). For smokers, an analysis of smoking history exhibited significant correlations between the number of daily cigarets smoked and the blood cadmium concentration (r = 0.54, p = 0.001) and years of smoking and blood cadmium concentration (r = 0.51, p < 0.001). Cadmium intake from cigaret smoking was found to be higher than the intake from air and diet.