Analysis of four tobacco-specific nitrosamines in mainstream cigarette smoke of Virginia cigarettes by LC-MS/MS

  • Ming-jian Wu (吴名剑)Email author
  • Yun-hui Dai (戴云辉)
  • Su-xing Tuo (庹苏行)
  • Nian-nian Hu (胡念念)
  • Yong Li (李 勇)
  • Xiao-ming Chen (陈小明)


An improved method was developed for the determination of the four major tobacco-specific nitrosamines(TSNAs) in mainstream cigarette smoke. The new method offers decreased sample preparation and analysis time as compared to traditional methods. This method uses isotope dilution liquid chromatography coupled with a tandem mass spectrometer with electrospray ionization and is significantly more sensitive than traditional methods. It also shows no evidence of artifactual formation of TSNAs. Sample concentrations were determined for four TSNAs in mainstream smoke using two isotopically labeled TSNAs analogues as internal standards. Mainstream smoke was collected on an industry standard 44-mm Cambridge filter pad, extracted with 0.1 mol/L ammonium acetate, purified by solid-phase extraction, and analyzed without further sample cleanup. The analytical column is a 3.9 mm × 150 mm Waters Symmertry Shield RP18 column and volume fraction of the mobile phase is 50% methanol, 50% water containing 0.1% acetic acid. The results show that the linear range is 0.5–100.0 mg/L except for N-nitrosoanabasine (NAB) from 0.25 to 50.0 mg/L. The limits of detection are 0.1 mg/L for N-nitrosonornicotine (NNN), 0.08 mg/L for 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-py-ridyl)-1-butanone (NNK), 0.05 mg/L for N-nitrosoanatabine (NAT) and 0.06 mg/L for NAB. The recoveries of the four TSNAs are from 90.2% to 105.7%.

Key words

tobacco-specific nitrosamines mainstream cigarette smoke Virginia cigarette LC-MS/MS 


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Copyright information

© Central South University Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ming-jian Wu (吴名剑)
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Yun-hui Dai (戴云辉)
    • 2
    • 3
  • Su-xing Tuo (庹苏行)
    • 2
  • Nian-nian Hu (胡念念)
    • 2
  • Yong Li (李 勇)
    • 1
  • Xiao-ming Chen (陈小明)
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Chemistry and Chemical EngineeringXiangtan UniversityXiangtanChina
  2. 2.Technical Center of China Tobacco Hunan Industrial Corp. Ltd.ChangdeChina
  3. 3.School of Chemistry and Chemical EngineeringCentral South UniversityChangshaChina

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