Background: We examined the nicotine metabolite ratio's (NMR) relationship with smoking intensity, nicotine dependence, and a broad array of biomarkers of exposure and biological effect in commercial cigarette smokers. Methods: Secondary analysis was conducted on two crosssectional samples of adult, daily smokers from Wave 1 (2013- 2014) of the Population Assessment of Tobacco Use and Health (PATH) Study and baseline data from a 2014-2017 randomized clinical trial. Data were restricted to participants of non-Hispanic, white race. The lowest quartile of NMR (<0.26) in the nationally representative PATH Study was used to distinguish slow from normal/fast nicotine metabolizers.NMRwas modeled continuously in secondary analysis. Results: Compared with slow metabolizers, normal/fast metabolizers had greater cigarettes per day and higher levels of total nicotine equivalents, tobacco-specific nitrosamines, volatile organic componds, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. A novel finding was higher levels of inflammatory biomarkers among normal/fast metabolizers versus slow metabolizers. With NMR modeled as a continuous measure, the associations between NMR and biomarkers of inflammation were not significant. Conclusions: The results are suggestive that normal/fast nicotine metabolizers may be at increased risk for tobacco-related disease due to being heavier smokers, having higher exposure to numerous toxicants and carcinogens, and having higher levels of inflammation when compared with slow metabolizers. Impact: This is the first documentation that NMR is not only associated with smoking exposure but also biomarkers of biological effects that are integral in the development of tobacco-related disease. Results provide support for NMR as a biomarker for understanding a smoker's exposure and potential risk for tobacco- related disease.
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