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Two UK suicides using nicotine extracted from tobacco employing instructions available on the Internet.


Tobacco is one of the most easily accessible and commonly abused drugs world-wide. Nicotine, one of its principal constituents, can cause serious or fatal overdoses. Whilst the deliberate ingestion of this substance appears to be relatively rare, often the important signs of its consumption are not recognised, sometimes with fatal results. Here we describe two cases of intentional fatal ingestion of nicotine. The nicotine was extracted from tobacco using instructions available on the Internet. The first case involved a male aged 19 who died in 2008. The post-mortem blood and urine levels of nicotine were 5.5mg/l and >80 mg/l respectively; the blood level is in line with the generally recognised fatal level of >5mg/l. The levels of nicotine's main metabolite, cotinine, for this case were 2.5mg/l and 7.9 mg/l for blood and urine respectively. A comparative case in 1999 involved a 32 year-old male. The level of post-mortem nicotine in his blood was 1.0mg/l. These are believed to be the first UK suicides by nicotine using instructions from the Internet reported in the literature. Information that nicotine was the agent responsible only became apparent some time after death. There may be more deaths due to this cause that go unrecognised because quantification of nicotine and cotinine levels is not often conducted, due to the wide prevalence of smoking. It is important that all evidence at the scene of a sudden and unexplained death is carefully evaluated, including potential clues on PCs and lap-tops.

Veröffentlicht in: Forensic science international

Veröffentlicht im: May 2010

A clinical laboratory model for evaluating the acute effects of electronic "cigarettes": nicotine delivery profile and cardiovascular and subjective effects.


Electronic "cigarettes" are marketed to tobacco users as potential reduced exposure products (PREP), albeit with little information regarding electronic cigarette user toxicant exposure and effects. This information may be obtained by adapting clinical laboratory methods used to evaluate other PREPs for smokers.

Veröffentlicht in: Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers & prevention : a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, cosponsored by the American Society of Preventive Oncology

Veröffentlicht im: Jul 2010

Conventional and electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) have different smoking characteristics.


Electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes are marketed as tobacco-free nicotine delivery devices that have received little laboratory evaluation. In this study, the smoking properties of conventional and e-cigarettes were compared by examining the vacuum required to produce smoke (conventional cigarettes) or aerosol (e-cigarettes) and the density of the smoke/aerosol over time.

Veröffentlicht in: Nicotine & tobacco research : official journal of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco

Veröffentlicht im: Aug 2010

Identification of amino-tadalafil and rimonabant in electronic cigarette products using high pressure liquid chromatography with diode array and tandem mass spectrometric detection.


A high-pressure liquid chromatography-diode array detection and multi-mode ionization tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-DAD-MMI-MS/MS) method was used to identify amino-tadalafil and rimonabant in electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) cartridges. Amino-tadalafil is a drug analogue of the commercially approved Cialis™ (i.e. tadalafil). Rimonabant is a drug that was, at one time, approved for weight loss in Europe (although approval has been retracted), but not in the United States. In addition, poor quality control over the e-cigarette products analyzed here is shown by the presence of nicotine in products labeled as containing no nicotine or by the presence of significant amounts of rimonabant oxidative degradant in e-cigarette products containing rimonabant. Identification was accomplished by comparing the retention time of relevant peaks in the sample with those of standard compounds, in addition to comparison of the UV spectra, mass spectra and/or product ion mass spectra.

Veröffentlicht in: Journal of chromatography. A

Veröffentlicht im: Oct 2010

E-cigarettes: a rapidly growing Internet phenomenon.


Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) aerosolize nicotine and produce a vapor that emulates that of cigarettes but purportedly has fewer traditional toxins than secondhand smoke. Although e-cigarettes are widely sold online and by retailers, new research suggests that they may contain unexpected toxins and may provide unreliable nicotine delivery. Many countries have already banned or strictly regulated e-cigarettes. Currently in the United States, e-cigarettes are exempt from regulation as drug-delivery devices. Meanwhile, the presence of e-cigarettes on the Internet, including in Web searches, virtual user communities, and online stores where people sell e-cigarettes on commission, is increasing rapidly. Physicians should be aware of the popularity, questionable efficacy claims, and safety concerns of e-cigarettes so that they may counsel patients against use and advocate for research to inform an evidence-based regulatory approach.

Veröffentlicht in: Annals of internal medicine

Veröffentlicht im: Oct 2010