Send to

Choose Destination
Am J Public Health. 1981 Dec;71(12):1320-4.

Saliva thiocyanate: a chemical indicator of cigarette smoking in adolescents.


Denial and minimization in self-reports of cigarette smoking are probable common among youth and other groups where smoking is discouraged. Chemical measures may obtain more accurate measurement of smoking habits in those groups. One such measure, saliva thiocyanate (SCN), was evaluated in 1,419 eighth grade students. In that group, 54.9% of students admitted to regular smoking of greater than one pack/week had thiocyanates greater than or equal to 100 m g/ml compared to 2.3% nonsmokers at those levels. Of students who smoked greater than or equal to 10 cigarettes in the prior 24 hours, 66.7% were at or above 100 microgram/ml. Elevated SCN in nonsmokers was uncommon. Saliva SCN is a safe, inexpensive, and acceptable prevalence measurement for cigarette smoking. It can be used in place of self-reports to document smoking of greater than on pack/week in populations of youth.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center