A selective and sensitive LC/MS/MS assay was developed for the quantification of d(2)-nicotine and d(2)-cotinine in plasma of current and past smokers administered d(2)-nicotine. After solid phase extraction and liquid-liquid extraction, HPLC separation was achieved on a capillary hydrophilic interaction chromatography phase column. The analytes were monitored by tandem mass spectrometry with electrospray positive ionization. Linear calibration curves were generated for d(2)-nicotine (0.03-6.0 ng/ml plasma) and d(2)-cotinine (0.15-25 ng/ml plasma). The lower limits of quantitation were 0.15 ng/ml and 0.25 ng/ml for d(2)-nicotine and d(2)-cotinine, respectively. The coefficient of variation was 3.7% for d(2)-nicotine and 2.5% for d(2)-cotinine. The method was applied to two ongoing studies of d(2)-nicotine metabolism in prior and current smokers. Preliminary analysis of a subset of subjects from these studies detected a significantly lower rate of nicotine conversion to cotinine by past smokers compared to current smokers.