Risk assessment of toxicants on WHO TobReg priority list in mainstream cigarette smoke using human-smoked yields of Korean smokers

Eun Chul Pack, Hyung Soo Kim, Dae Yong Jang, Ye Ji Koo, Hong Hyeon Yu, Seung Ha Lee, Kyung Min Lim, Dal Woong Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Recently, the World Health Organization Study Group on Tobacco Product Regulation (WHO TobReg) announced a priority list of 38 toxicants among the more than 7000 chemicals found in cigarette smoke, building upon previous lists of toxicants in cigarette smoke. Here, we conducted a comprehensive study on the quantitative exposure and risk characterization of these priority toxicants in mainstream cigarette smoke listed by the WHO TobReg. The human-smoked toxicant yields estimated from spent cigarette butts of a total of 361 smokers using the part-filter method (PFM) were applied to current exposure and risk estimation for the first time. The PFM can estimate human-smoked yields of toxicants using smokers’ maximum mouth-level exposure. The human-smoked yield of each toxicant was converted to systemic uptake by considering bioavailability. Risk indicators—including the incremental lifetime cancer risk (ILCR), cumulative ILCR, hazard quotient (HQ), hazard indices (HIs), and margin of exposure (MOE)—were estimated from the systemic uptake of toxicants combined with Korean exposure factors by gender and age group as well as for total smokers. It was demonstrated that cigarette smoking results in significant cancer and non-cancer health risks. A sensitivity analysis showed that the human-smoked toxicant yield is one of the most important contributors to risk level variations. Our risk estimation suggested that previous risk assessments might have ignored or underestimated the uncertainty of risk assessment. In conclusion, we assessed the risk level of the 38 toxicants on the priority list developed by the WHO TobReg and provided a Korean-specific priority list for the regulations on the emission of cigarette smoke.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-219
Number of pages14
JournalEnvironmental Research
StatePublished - Feb 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Elsevier Inc.


  • Human-smoked yield
  • Mainstream cigarette smoke
  • Part-filter method
  • Risk assessment
  • WHO TobReg priority list


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