Nitrosamines in tobacco

Carcinogens found in tobacco are formed from nicotine and related compounds during the curing and processing of tobacco leaf. These are called ‘tobacco specific nitrosamines’ as they are only found in tobacco products. As they are tobacco specific they are also found in ‘smokeless’ tobacco products such as dipping tobacco, snuff and chewing tobacco as well as cigarettes, cigars and pipe tobacco.

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Analysis can also be performed on tobacco and tobacco products for a range of specific nitrosamines

  • 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1- (3-puridyl)-1-butone  (NNK)
  • 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1butanol (NNAL) which is a metabolite of NNK
  • N’-nitrosonornicotine  (NNN)

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