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The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health

Building capacity for a tobacco-free world

July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA

Friday, July 14, 2006 - 12:00 PM

pH and Nicotine Delivery of Different Tobacco Products on the Canadian Market

Geneviève Levasseur, M.Sc.1, Julie Fillion1, and Murray J. Kaiserman, Phd, MBA2. (1) Tobacco Control Programme, Health Canada, 123 Slater, 3507C, Ottawa, ON K1A 0K9, Canada, (2) Health Canada, Office of Research, Surveillance, and Evaluation, Tobacco Control Programme, HECS, MacDonald Building, A723, Postal Locator 3507C, 123 Slater Street, Ottawa, ON K1A 0K9, Canada

Objective: The objective of this study is to determine the pH and nicotine relationship of different tobacco products available on the Canadian market. Knowing that the pH of tobacco can influence the bio-availability of nicotine, the pH and nicotine content of different tobacco products are compared to establish their comparative efficiency in terms of nicotine delivery.

Methods: pH and alkaloid levels of different tobacco products were measured and compared in whole tobacco using tests mandated by the Tobacco Reporting Regulations (TRR). Tobacco products available on the Canadian market include; Canadian and imported cigarettes, fine cut tobacco, cigar, pipe tobacco and smokeless tobacco.

Results: Products from two smokeless tobacco manufacturers are evaluated. It is shown that US smokeless tobacco brands have high pH, between 6 and 8.5, and high nicotine content, 25-30 mg/g. In contrast, Swedish products have low pH 5.5 and low nicotine; 10 mg/g.

Cigarette tobacco and fine cut tobacco results cluster around a pH 5 with average nicotine levels between 15 and 20 mg/g. Pipe tobacco presents the lowest observed pHs 4.7-4.9, while nicotine content averaged around 17 mg/g. Cigars present pH levels between 6 and 7 while nicotine contents are low, between 7 and 12 mg/g.

Data suggest that smokeless tobacco products from the US are the most potent nicotine delivery devices. While cigars have low nicotine content, its availability to the smoker is reinforced by a higher pH. Cigarette, fine cut and pipe present the lowest pH while their nicotine content seems to be at an average level.