Cotinine levels in Southeast Asian smokers

Mary Ellen Wewers, Karen L. Ahijevych, Ravinder K. Dhatt, Robert M. Guthrie, Patty Kuun, Lynn Mitchell, Melvin L. Moeschberger, Moon S Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Understanding the contribution of race to factors associated with cigarette smoking and nicotine metabolism is essential for the characterization of patterns of tobacco use, nicotine dependence and incidence of tobacco-related diseases. This paper reports an investigation of cotinine levels among Southeast Asian smokers in two separate studies. Study 1 included 327 male and female smokers who participated in community-based interviews where smoking history information was obtained and a saliva cotinine sample was collected. Results indicated that subjects smoked an average of 11.2 cigarettes/day, with men reporting significantly higher consumption rates as compared to women (p<0.0001). Subjects' mean cotinine level was 65 ng/ml with an average cotinine/cigarette ratio of 8.2. In Study 2, plasma and saliva cotinine in six Southeast Asian adult smokers were measured during 2 days of smoking followed by 6 days of abstinence. On day 1, mean plasma and saliva cotinine levels were 268 and 235 ng/ml, respectively. After 6 days of abstinence, mean levels had dropped to 12 ng/ml for plasma and 8 ng/ml in saliva. On average, it required at least 4.7 days for saliva cotinine levels to reach <14 ng/ml. Mean cotinine concentrations during smoking differed in these two separate studies. Implications of these findings are discussed and future research recommendations are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-91
Number of pages7
JournalNicotine and Tobacco Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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