Evaluation of the levels of nicotine present in tobacco leaves, different brands of cigarettes and kolanuts

Authors: Mohammed Suleiman, Ogedengbe V. U, Oricha P. O

Nicotine is an alkaloid present at variable concentrations in the edible family of Solanacea including potatoes, tomatoes and egg. The alkaloid pharmacokinetic properties have been found to enhance its abuse potential. This study was carried out to determine the levels of nicotine in different cigarette brands and kolanuts sold in Lokoja metropolis, Kogi state. The nicotine value of the substances was determined by the preparation of an aqueous extract of the dried samples and reacting them with amino benzene and measuring the intensity of the yellow coloration spectrophotometrically at 460nm. The results obtained revealed that tobacco leaves had the highest nicotine content of 3.9mg/g, kolanitida had nicotine content of 2.9mg/g and kola acuminata had 1.0mg/g and the samples of cigarette: - Marlboro had the highest nicotine content of 0.9mg/g and Benson and Hedges, Rothmas, St. Moritz and London had nicotine values of 0.8mg/g, 0.7mg/g, 0.5mg/g and 0.4mg/g respectively. Tobacco leaves had the highest nicotine level when compared with the other samples analysed, while Marlboro had the highest nicotine level among the cigarettes analysed. As a result of the high levels of nicotine in tobacco leaves, Kolanuts and Marlboro, it is recommended that the three substances should be avoided as their consumption could cause adverse health effects

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