While previous studies have evaluated levels of tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNA) and total N-nitroso compounds (NOC) in tobacco, there are no reports in the literature on TSNA and total NOC in the same tobacco products. We compared levels of TSNA, total NOC, and NOC precursors (NOCP) in tobacco of cigarettes purchased in Moldova and in some tobacco types commonly used for the manufacturing of Moldovan cigarettes. Cigarette tobaccos included those from non-Moldovan,. traditional Moldovan, and blended Moldovan cigarettes. The results demonstrate that tobacco of non-Moldovan cigarettes contains higher TSNA and NOC levels (mean, 16 and 63 nmol/g tobacco, n = 6) than that of Moldovan cigarettes (mean, 5 and 23 nmol/g tobacco, n = 25). TSNA and NOC levels were also generally higher in tobacco of blended than in traditional Moldovan cigarettes. NOCP levels in Moldovan and non-Moldovan cigarette tobacco were similar as follows: 29000 ± 30000 and 33000 ± 28000 nmol/g tobacco (mean ± SD). Total NOC were strongly correlated with total TSNA levels (r = 0.66; P < 0.0001). These findings demonstrate that current technologies involved in the manufacture of some blended cigarettes create conditions that favor N-nitrosation of alkaloids and other tobacco constituents.
- Moldovan tobacco
- Tobacco-specific nitrosamines
- Total N-nitroso compounds