Tobacco Testing

Over the past ten years, the enormous development potential of the tobacco sector has steadily increased and this trend is anticipated to continue. Although tobacco use is a major public health problem, tobacco products are one of the few openly available commercial products that are virtually unregulated in some countries. They are also the only legally available products that kill up to half of their regular users when consumed as recommended by the manufacturers of these products. However, despite the devastating effects of tobacco use, only a handful of countries currently regulate tobacco products, including how the product is made, the contents of the product, and the emissions from tobacco products during use, to which users and bystanders can be exposed. This is partly due to the challenges associated with the regulation of tobacco products, the highly technical nature of this policy intervention, and the difficulties in translating science into regulation.


In most countries across the world, tobacco use is synonymous with cigarette smoking. In contrast, tobacco use in India takes multiple forms. Broadly, there are two types of tobacco products that are commonly used: smoking tobacco and smokeless tobacco. Smoking tobacco products include bidis, manufactured cigarettes, hand-rolled cigarettes, pipes, cigars, hookahs, water pipes, and some other smoking tobacco products like chuttas and dhumtiand chillum. Smokeless tobacco is used by either chewing, applying to the teeth and gums, or inhaling. Smokeless tobacco products used in India include chewing tobacco items such as betel quid with tobacco, khaini, gutka, and paan masala with tobacco.


Tobacco-Specific Nitrosamines (TSNA):

Tobacco consumption represents an additional source of nitrosamine exposure. Cigarette smoke is a complex mixture consisting of more than 4500 chemicals, including several tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNA). Several toxic compounds that are abundantly present in tobacco cigarette smoke, such as tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, nitrates, phenols and carbon monoxide, are either absent or substantially lower. While nicotine is not a carcinogen, several tobacco-specific nitrosamines derived from nicotine and other tobacco alkaloids are carcinogenic in laboratory animals, a property characteristic of over 200 nitrosamines. The present study describes the development of a liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) technique for the analysis of trace levels of four tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs): nitrosoanabasine (NAB), nitrosoanatabine (NAT), 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK) and nitrosonornicotine (NNN). The technique can be applied for the analysis of TSNAs in USP grade nicotine.

Oxidative Stress Caused by Cigarette Smoking, Alcohol Abuse and Drug Abuse

1. Major components

  • Tar, Nicotine, Carbon Monoxide

2. Inorganic gas

  • Ammonia, Hydrogen Cyanide, Nitrous and Nitric Oxide

3. Metals

  • Lead, Chromium, Mercury, Arsenic, Cadmium, Selenium

4. Tobacco-specific nitrosamines

  • N’-nitrosonornicotine, N′-nitrosoanabasine, N′-nitrosoanatabine, 4-(methylnitroso)-1-(-3-pyridyl)-1-butanone

5. Phenols

  • Phenol, o-cresol, m-cresol, p-cresol, Catechol, Resorcinol, Hydroquinone

6. Carbonyls

  • Formaldehyde, Acetaldehyde, Acetone, Propionaldehyde, Methyl Ethyl Ketone, Acrolein, Butyraldehyde, Crotonaldehyde

7. Aromatic amines

  • 1-Aminonaphthalene, 2-aminonaphthalene, 3-aminobiphenyl, 4-aminobiphenyl

8. Polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbon

  • Benzopyrene

9. Other organic compounds

  • Benzene, Toluene, 1,3-Butadiene, Isoprene, Acrylonitrile, Pyridine, Styrene, Quinoline

Regulatory Bodies:

The Tobacco Control Act gave the FDA broad authority to regulate the manufacture, marketing, sale, and distribution of tobacco products. The FDA is already using its regulatory powers to make important advances in public health. Tobacco product testing is a crucial component of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (FSPTCA), which grants the Food and Drug Administration the authority to regulate tobacco products and was signed into law on June 22, 2009.

  • WHO FCTC (Framework Convention on Tobacco Control)
  • WHO study group on tobacco product regulation (TobReg)
  • WHO tobacco laboratory network (TobLabNet)
  •  ISO

Health warning Labels are pictorial and textual, cover 85 percent of the front and back panels of the tobacco product package parallel to the top edge and are rotated every 12 months. Misleading packaging and labelling, including terms such as “light” and “low-tar,” and other signs, is prohibited.


How Eureka can help you?

Quality testing is essential for the assessment of any product. In consideration of this, we provide a wide range of quality testing criteria for tobacco in terms of

  • Visual characteristics of tobacco leaves, such as colour, body, texture, maturity or degree of ripening, identification of blemishes, graininess, vein colour, leaf colour, leaf size, fluffiness, elasticity and shatterability
  • Pesticide Residue Analysis
  • Heavy Metals
  • PAH
  • Chemical parameters
  • Nicotine content
  • Total nitrogen content
  • Nitrogen/ Nicotine ratio 
  • Reducing sugars
  • Sugars/ Nicotine ratio
  • Carbohydrate/ Protein ratio
  • Potassium
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