Exposure

Aromatic DNA adduct levels in surrogate or target tissues may also reflect the extent and amount of cigarettes smoked by a smoker. Nontumor bronchial and larynx tissue samples from autopsies or biopsies of smokers have been reported to have high levels of aromatic DNA adducts that were proportional to the number of cigarettes smoked per day and the number of packyears. In contrast, tissues from nonsmokers from these studies had almost undetectable levels of DNA adducts,15,364278 79 suggesting that DNA adducts formed in the individuals who smoked were exposure-related. Another group found that aromatic DNA adduct levels reached a plateau in lymphocytes and alveolar macrophages at higher exposures to cigarette smoke (> 20 cigarettes/day) suggesting less efficient adduct formation.80 In a recent study, we have also shown that the levels of aromatic DNA adducts present in peripheral blood lymphocytes peaked at approximately one pack per day and showed a decline beyond this dose in lung cancer cases who were current smokers.58 There have been reports indicating that African-American or Mexican-American smokers may have an increased risk of developing lung cancer at lower exposures.81 It has also been reported that individuals who smoked nonfiltered cigarettes had higher levels of DNA adducts compared to those smoking filtered brands.82

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