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July 9, 2003

Nicotine Concentrations in Deciduous Teeth and Cumulative Exposure to Tobacco Smoke During Childhood

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie, MD, PhD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2003;290(2):196-197. doi:10.1001/jama.290.2.196

To the Editor: The use of objective biomarkers can help to quantify exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS).1 For instance, we have reported that cotinine concentrations in cord serum can be used to assess exposure to prenatal ETS in newborns during a period of several days,2 and that nicotine concentrations in hair were related to infant exposure to ETS over a period of months.3 The presence of nicotine and cotinine in meconium has been associated with chronic exposure to ETS during fetal life.4 In this study we investigate whether nicotine and cotinine concentrations in deciduous teeth are related to cumulative tobacco exposure from fetal life to the time the tooth is lost.

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