Tobacco smoke upper respiratory response relationships in healthy nonsmokers

Rebecca Bascom, Jana Kesavanathan, Thomas Permutt, Thomas K. Fitzgerald, Larry Sauder, David L. Swift

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


This study determined exposure-response relationships to side-stream tobacco smoke (2 hrs; 0, 1, 5, and 15 ppm CO) in 29 healthy nonsmoking young adults. Sixteen subjects had no history of environmental tobacco smoke rhinitis (ETS-NS) while 13 subjects had a history of ETS rhinitis (ETS-S). Eye irritation and odor perception showed a statistically significant exposure response in both groups; headache was significant in ETS-S and nose irritation was significant in ETS-NS subjects. Significant postexposure (P1) symptoms were first reported at 1 ppm CO among both groups, but in 3/9 symptoms were significantly greater at this exposure level in ETS-S subjects. Nasal congestion, rhinorrhea, and cough increased significantly at 15 ppm CO only. In ETS-S subjects, nasal volume decreased and nasal resistance increased in an exposure-response fashion. ETS-NS subjects had a qualitatively different shape to the exposure-response curve; significant dimensional reductions in mid- and posterior nasal volume occurred with exposure at 1 ppm CO but not at 5 ppm CO and reductions in posterior nasal volume occurred at 15 ppm CO exposure. These studies indicate subjective and objective response relationships with exposure to sidestream tobacco smoke at concentrations from 1 to 15 ppm CO. Some differences are noted among the two subject groups in the magnitude of some symptoms at the lowest exposure level and in the qualitative shape of the acoustic rhinometry and nasal resistance exposure-response curves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)86-93
Number of pages8
JournalFundamental and Applied Toxicology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Toxicology


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