Comparative assessment of salivary cotinine level and psychological dependence among tobacco users.

Jadhav Kiran B, Patel Vrushali D, Shah Vandana S., Gupta Nidhi D


Objectives: The aim of the study was to assess the correlation between salivary cotinine level and psychological dependence measured through Fagerstrom Test for Nicotine Dependence (FTND) questionnaire among tobacco users.

Methods: This was a cross sectional study, conducted on tobacco users. Participants with the present habit of tobacco chewing and smoking above age of 16 were included in the study. A standard questionnaire form of FTND Revised Version for smoking and smokeless form of tobacco were given to each subject. Each participant was asked to answer the questions as per their experience of tobacco consumption and calculate the total point score or FTND score. Salivary cotinine level assessment was done by using commercial available NicAlert kit.

Results: When salivary cotinine level was correlated with different variables of both groups, it was observed aweak correlation between salivary cotinine level and FTND scoring in smokers group (r=0.083) and also in smokeless group (r=0.081). When two groups were compared for salivary cotinine level, statistically significant difference (P=0.021) was observed with higher level of salivary cotinine in smokeless group as compared to smokers group.

Conclusion: Salivary cotinine and psychological dependence through FTND scoring are not strongly correlating with each other. This indicates that dependence over tobacco is a separate phenomenon and cannot be assessed by salivary cotinine level.  It is well accepted that salivary cotinine level is influenced by age of individual, duration of habit and type of tobacco consumption.

Keywords: Cotinine, Nicotine, Saliva , Tobacco

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