Saliva cotinine levels as a function of collection method

Nina G. Schneider, Peyton Jacob, Fredrik Nilsson, Scott J. Leischow, Neal L. Benowitz, Richard E. Olmstead

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Saliva cotinine is commonly used to estimate nicotine intake but laboratories use different methods of collection. In three small trials, comparisons were made between (1) sugar vs. unstimulated saliva production (n = 29), (2) wax chewing vs. unstimulated production (n = 15) and (3) between two consecutive unstimulated saliva samples (n = 10). Sugar-stimulated saliva cotinine scores were 26% below unstimulated levels (p < 0.001); correlation between measures was high (r= 0.90; p < 0.001). Wax stimulated saliva yielded levels 6% below unstimulated (p < 0.05; correlation: r= 0.98; p < 0.001). No differences were observed between two unstimulated samples taken within a ~ 20-minute period (correlation: r=0.99;p < 0.001). It is postulated that changes in salivary flow can account for the findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-351
Number of pages5
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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