Pharmacokinetics of (S)-nicotine and metabolites in humans

  • P. JacobIII
  • N. L. Benowitz


An understanding of the pharmacokinetics of nicotine and its metabolites is important in understanding the biological effects of nicotine and tobacco for various reasons. The rate of absorption and distribution profoundly affects the magnitude of pharmacological effect of nicotine (Benowitz et al., 1990). The rate of metabolism of nicotine affects its pharmacology by determining the level of nicotine in the body with any given rate of consumption of tobacco. When elimination of nicotine is accelerated, people consume more tobacco, presumably to maintain a desired level of nicotine in the body (Benowitz et al., 1990). Metabolites of nicotine may be pharmacologically active (Clark et al., 1965) or may be toxic (Shigenaga et al.,1988) and, therefore, it is important to know levels of human exposure. Metabolic data can be used to estimate nicotine intake and exposure to tobacco smoke (Benowitz, 1984; Benowitz and Jacob, 1984a).


Stable Isotope Environmental Tobacco Smoke Smokeless Tobacco Cotinine Level Environmental Tobacco Smoke Exposure 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. JacobIII
  • N. L. Benowitz

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