Disposition of nicotine and eight metabolites in smokers and nonsmokers: identification in smokers of two metabolites that are longer lived than cotinine

Clin Pharmacol Ther. 1990 Dec;48(6):641-51. doi: 10.1038/clpt.1990.208.


The disposition of a single intravenous dose of 14C-nicotine was investigated in six cigarette smokers and six nonsmokers. Plasma and urinary elimination of both nicotine and cotinine was faster in smokers than in nonsmokers. In the urine of both smokers and nonsmokers, we identified nicotine and eight metabolites, including two new metabolites: metabolite A (3-hydroxycotinine glucuronide) and metabolite G (demethylcotinine delta 2',3'-enamine). Metabolites A and G were of particular interest because, in smokers, they both persisted longer than cotinine. This property renders them more sensitive than cotinine as potential indicators of passive exposure to cigarette smoke.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Cotinine / pharmacokinetics*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nicotine / pharmacokinetics*
  • Smoking / metabolism*
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution*


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution
  • Nicotine
  • Cotinine