Main content area

Simultaneous Determination of Tobacco Alkaloids, Tobacco-Specific Nitrosamines, and Solanesol in Consumer Products Using UPLC–ESI-MS/MS

Shifflett, JohnR., Watson, Leah, McNally, DevinJ., Bezabeh, DawitZ.
Chromatographia 2018 v.81 no.3 pp. 517-523
anabasine, cigarettes, cotinine, excise tax, laboratory techniques, mass spectrometry, mastication, nicotine, nitrosamines, nornicotine, smokeless tobacco, ultra-performance liquid chromatography, United States
The US Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) is responsible for collecting Federal excise taxes on tobacco products. Tobacco products in the USA may fall into several taxable categories including cigars, cigarettes, snuff, chewing tobacco, pipe tobacco, and roll-your-own. The existence of these taxable categories means that the TTB is also responsible for the determination of proper tax classification. Not only does proper classification determine the amount of tax owed, but comprehensive classification procedures must also determine if a consumer product is subject to the tobacco excise tax. Since a product must contain tobacco to be subject to the excise tax, laboratory methods that test for the presence of tobacco can provide useful information to ascertain the taxable status of a product. To test for the presence of chemical markers associated with tobacco, an analytical method was developed that permits the simultaneous determination of nicotine and related alkaloids, tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNA), and solanesol in methanolic extracts of tobacco. The method utilizes ultra performance liquid chromatography with electrospray ionization–tandem mass spectrometric detection (UPLC–ESI-MS/MS) and was optimized for the analysis of nicotine, cotinine, nornicotine, anatabine, myosmine, anabasine, isonicoteine, nornicotyrine, nicotyrine, N-nitrosoanatabine (NAT), N-nitrosoanabasine (NAB), 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK), N′-nitrosonornicotine (NNN) and solanesol. The analytical method was designed to attenuate the instrument response of nicotine, which is overwhelming, to permit simultaneous analysis of all analytes.