Nicotine Metabolites/Chemicals

AuthorJames G. Wigmore
 9
Nicotine Metabolites/Chemicals
The most common nicotine metabolite is cotinine, which can be used to
measure second- and thirdhand smoke exposure. Anabasine is a chemical
that is found in tobacco products such as cigarettes but not in nicotine
replacement therapy (NRT) (e.g., patches, gums). As a result, anabasine
can be used to distinguish smokers who have relapsed from NRT and are
still smoking.
“Our results indicate that the level of urinary cotinine is independently
associated with the degree of nicotine dependence and that cotinine is a
valid biomarker for prediction of high nicotine dependence.
—Jung et al, “Can Urinary Cotinine Predict Nicotine
Dependence Level in Smokers?” ()
The major metabolite of nicotine, cotinine, is a good biomarker of nico-
tine exposure and can be measured in human blood (serum), saliva, urine,
milk, and cervical mucosa ().
Reference Number: 
, .., .. , .. ,  . . “Elimination
of Cotinine from Body Fluids: Implications for Noninvasive Measure-
ment of Tobacco Smoke Exposure.American Journal of Public Health,
: –,  ( table,  f‌igure,  references)
Nicotine Metabolites/Chemicals | 717
Reference Number: 
Abstract: Cotinine can be measured in human blood, saliva, urine, milk,
and cervical mucosa. Three non-smokers and two occasional smokers
ingested  mg of nicotine base every day for  days in order to achieve
a high cotinine concentration and low nicotine concentration. Blood,
urine, and saliva samples were collected daily for  weeks and analyzed
for cotinine by gas chromatography (GC). The initial mean cotinine con-
centrations following the period of nicotine ingestion were  ng/mL
in plasma,  ng/mL in saliva, and , ng/mL in urine. The average
ratios of cotinine saliva to plasma were .:.. The half-life of cotinine
average – hours in the dif‌ferent body f‌luids.
We conclude that cotinine samples from blood, saliva, and urine are
equally applicable to the whole range of issues requiring estimates of
nicotine exposure from tobacco smoking. After cessation of smoking
cotinine concentrations in all body f‌luids may be expected to decline
to nonsmoking levels within four days in the majority of cases, with
an upper limit of seven days. Choice of f‌luid for sampling will depend
on practical rather than pharmacokinetic considerations. Marked dif-
ferences in half-life between smokers and nonsmokers seem unlikely
on present evidence, but the precise magnitude of any dif‌ference must
await larger studies.
Reference Number: 
, ., . -, . , . ,  . .
“Biochemical Markers of Smoke Absorption and Self Reported Exposure
to Passive Smoking.Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, :
–,  ( tables,  f‌igures,  references)
Abstract: The self-reported degree of exposure to secondhand smoke
(SHS) was determined in  non-smoking patients (mean age . years)
in an outpatient clinic. Blood, breath, saliva, and urine samples were also
collected. Plasma, saliva, or urine nicotine and cotinine concentrations
were determined by GC. Blood carboxyhemoglobin (COHb) and expired
breath carbon monoxide (CO) concentrations were also determined.

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