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Smoking and Tobacco

Blood test results

07/09/2007

Question:

My 14 year old son had a blood test last week, and the results came in the mail today. The doctor wrote that he may be smoking, and that if he isn`t, she would like him to see a specialist. He does not smoke, and now I`m terrified. She is out of the office until next week, and I`m worried. What could show in a blood test that would make her suspect smoking?

Answer:

I understand your concern. However, with this information it is not possible to determine what your son’s doctor was addressing. If you have not already done so, you might request a copy of the test results from the office staff until the doctor returns and this will provide some information for you.

There is a blood test that can check if someone is smoking by measuring the amount of nicotine breakdown product in the blood, which is called cotinine. This would not typically be done on a routine blood test.

For more information:

Go to the Smoking and Tobacco health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Karen L Ahijevych, PhD, RN, FAAN Karen L Ahijevych, PhD, RN, FAAN
Professor Emeritus
College of Public Health
College of Nursing
The Ohio State University