Measuring tobacco smoke exposure: quantifying nicotine/cotinine concentration in biological samples by colorimetry, chromatography and immunoassay methods

J Pharm Biomed Anal. 2004 Apr 1;35(1):155-68. doi: 10.1016/j.jpba.2004.01.009.


Procedures to assess tobacco smoke exposure are reviewed and biomarkers used for determining the smoking status of an individual are compared. Methods used to extract these biomarkers from saliva, urine, and blood and the advantages and disadvantages of the assays are discussed. Finally, the procedures used to measure the levels of cortisol, a stress hormone speculated to be linked to nicotine metabolism, are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Colorimetry
  • Cotinine / analysis*
  • Cotinine / blood
  • Cotinine / urine
  • Environmental Exposure / analysis*
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Humans
  • Molecular Structure
  • Nicotine / analysis*
  • Nicotine / blood
  • Nicotine / urine
  • Radioimmunoassay
  • Saliva / chemistry*
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution / analysis*


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution
  • Nicotine
  • Cotinine