Comparison of Bladder Carcinogens in the Urine of E-cigarette Users Versus Non E-cigarette Using Controls

Thomas W. Fuller, Abhinav P. Acharya, Thiagarajan Meyyappan, Michelle Yu, Godugu Bhaskar, Steven R. Little, Tatum V. Tarin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Electronic cigarette (EC) use is gaining popularity as a substitute for conventional smoking due to the perception and evidence it represents a safer alternative. In contrast to the common perception amongst users that ECs represent no risk initial studies have revealed a complex composition of e-cigarette liquids. Conventional cigarette smoking is a known risk factor for developing bladder cancer and prior reports raise concern some of those causative compounds may exist in EC liquids or vapor. Urine samples were collected from 13 e-cigarette using subjects and 10 non e-cigarette using controls. Five known bladder carcinogens that are either present in conventional cigarettes, products of combustion, or solvents believed to be used in some e-cigarette formulations were quantified by liquid chromatography - mass spectrometry (LC-MS). Analysis of e-cigarette user urine revealed the presence of two carcinogenic compounds, o-toluidine and 2-naphthylamine, at a mean 2.3 and 1.3 fold higher concentration (p-value of 0.0013 and 0.014 respectively). Many of these subjects (9/13) were long term nonsmokers (>12 months). Further study is needed to clarify the safety profile of e-cigarettes and their contribution to the development of bladder cancer given the greater concentration of carcinogenic aromatic amines in the urine of e-cigarette users.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number507
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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