Children aged 3 to 11 years are classified as nonsmokers if they have a serum cotinine level less than or equal to 10ng/mL. The limit of detection used for cotinine is 0.05 ng/mL to be more consistent with other similar measures including indicators from Healthy People 2010 and the National Prevention Strategy. Using a lower level of detection of cotinine, may have allowed us to detect cotinine in persons who are currently categorized as ‘unexposed’.
According to the 2006 Surgeon General’s Report, more than 126 million nonsmoking Americans had detectable serum cotinine levels as of 1999–2002. Moreover, significant population disparities continue to exist and are in some cases widening. For example, children are more heavily exposed than nonsmoking adults.
The limit of detection for cotinine has used for the baseline at launch was 0.015ng/mL. The measure has since been revised to use a limit of detection for cotinine of 0.05ng/mL to be more consistent with other similar measures including indicators from HP2010 and the National Prevention Strategy. As a result of these revisions, the baseline for this measure has been revised from 82.2% to 52.2%. The target has been adjusted from 74.0% to 47.0% using the original target setting method.