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Food Chem Toxicol. 1998 Dec;36(12):1131-8.

Distribution of major and minor alkaloids in tobacco, mainstream and sidestream smoke of popular Indian smoking products.

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  • 1Carcinogenesis Division, Cancer Research Institute, Tata Memorial Centre, Parel, Mumbai, India.


Various Indian smoking products--cigarette, bidi, chutta and a brand of US cigarette--were analysed by gas chromatography-flame ionization detection (GC-FID) for the levels of nicotine and minor tobacco alkaloids in tobacco, mainstream smoke (MS) and sidestream smoke (SS) employing modified smoking standards, namely two puffs/min. The analysis clearly demonstrated relatively higher levels of nicotine and minor tobacco alkaloids in tobacco from bidi (37.7 mg/g) and chutta (34.5 mg/g) when compared with Indian and US cigarettes (14-16 mg/g) studied. Relatively lower levels (SS/MS) of nicotine in SS from bidi and chutta compared with Indian/US cigarettes, suggest that the contribution of nicotine in SS from a single bidi/chutta to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is very much less than that of a single Indian/US cigarette. Reduced levels of nicotine in SS of bidi/chutta result in relatively higher deliveries of nicotine in MS as reflected by higher MS/SS values. The observed differences are likely to be due to difference in tobacco processing, burning rate/temperature and design of the smoking product.

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