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NAQC Newsroom: Research

Nicotine Metabolite Ratio Is Associate with Lozenge Use But Not Quitting in Smokeless Tobacco Users.

Thursday, June 11, 2015  
Posted by: Natalia Gromov
Jon O. Ebbert, Herbert H. Severson, Brian G. Danaher, Neal L. Benowitz, and Darrell r. Schroeder. 
Nicotine Metabolite Ratio Is Associate with Lozenge Use But Not Quitting in Smokeless Tobacco Users.
Nicotine Tob Res published 14 May 2015, 10.1093/ntr/ntv102.
The nicotine metabolite ratio (NMR) of 3′-hydroxycotinine to cotinine is a noninvasive marker of the rate of nicotine metabolism. Fast metabolism (ie, a high NMR) is associated with lower cigarette smoking abstinence rates using transdermal nicotine replacement. We evaluated whether the NMR can be used to predict self-reported nicotine lozenge use and tobacco abstinence among smokeless tobacco users treated for tobacco dependence. This was a secondary analysis of data from one arm of a large trial. Participants received quitting support materials and 4-mg nicotine lozenges by mail plus three coaching phone calls. Saliva kits were mailed for collection of saliva samples, which were analyzed for cotinine and 3′-hydroxycotinine. Self-reported tobacco and lozenge use were assessed at 3 months. Analyses were performed using Spearman rank correlation and logistic regression.
Of the 160 saliva collection kits mailed, 152 were returned. The NMR was not significantly correlated with the baseline amount of smokeless tobacco used, the number of years of tobacco use, or the level of tobacco dependence as measured by the Severson Smokeless Tobacco Dependency Scale. The NMR was positively correlated with lozenge use (r= 0.21, P = .015), but it did not predict self-reported 7-day point prevalence abstinence at 3 months. Fast metabolizers may need to self-administer more nicotine replacement in the form of nicotine lozenges to achieve the same clinical response achieved by slower metabolizers using fewer lozenges.

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