Background and objectives: Arterial (A) and venous (V) plasma nicotine and cotinine concentrations were measured after nasal nicotine spray in tobacco smokers of both genders. The hypothesis for this research was that a greater A/V difference in plasma nicotine would be present in males than females because males have greater skeletal muscle mass to bind nicotine.
Subjects and methods: Nine male and nine female healthy adult smokers were studied. They all abstained from use of tobacco overnight for 10 h or more prior to the study. Nicotine nasal spray was given in doses of 1-2.5 mg total, with half in each nostril while the subject was supine. Both A and V blood samples were obtained prior to and 3, 6, 10, 15, 20, and 30 min post-nasal nicotine spray.
Results and conclusions: Nasal nicotine administration produced greater A than V plasma levels. There were no gender differences in A/V nicotine concentrations, disproving the above hypothesis, suggesting that other physiochemical factors besides skeletal muscle mass must be involved. Heart rate increases correlated well with arterial plasma nicotine levels (r = 0.77). Males had less variance than females in the expected increase in arterial plasma nicotine concentrations with increased number of nasal sprays. Although there was considerable overlap, mean A cotinine concentrations were consistently slightly larger than V concentrations.