Origin in tobacco smoke of N'-nitrosonornicotine, a tobacco-specific carcinogen

J Natl Cancer Inst. 1977 Jun;58(6):1841-4. doi: 10.1093/jnci/58.6.1841.


To evaluate risk factors and to approach methods of reduction of the carcinogenic potential of cigarette smoke, the transfer rate of N-nitrosonornicotine in a popular U.S. blended cigarette into mainstream smoke was quantitatively determined. The mean transfer rate was 11.3%; thus approximately 46% of the tobacco-specific carcinogen in the smoke came from the tobacco, and the remainder was synthesized during smoking.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Nicotine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Nicotine / chemical synthesis
  • Nitrosamines* / chemical synthesis
  • Plants, Toxic
  • Smoking*
  • Tobacco


  • Nitrosamines
  • Nicotine
  • N'-nitrosonornicotine