High levels of tobacco-specific N-nitrosamines and nicotine in Chaini Khaini, a product marketed as snus

Post Date: 
2014-12-09
Publication: 
Tobacco Control
Summary: 

Introduction: Recently, a tobacco product, Chaini Khaini, identified as snus appeared in India. The product marketing emphasizes its discreet nature and explicitly claims safety by referring to the existing evidence on Swedish snus. We here analyzed tobacco-specific nitrosamines and nicotine in 12 samples of Chaini Khaini purchased in 2013 at open markets in India.

Methods: Samples were purchased twice: in March 2013 from Mumbai and in November 2013 from Mumbai and Ahmedabad. Chemical constituents were measured by our routine validated methods.

Results: Levels of carcinogenic nitrosamines NNN, NNK, and NNAL averaged 22.9 (±4.9) μg/g, 2.6 (±1.0) μg/g, and 3.1 (±1.5) μg/g tobacco (wet weight), respectively. The levels of NAB, which is normally present in trace levels in tobacco products, ranged from 3.9 to 12.9 μg/g tobacco. Total nicotine levels in all samples averaged 10.0 mg/g tobacco and unprotonated nicotine accounted for an average 95.4% of the total nicotine content.

Conclusions: Chaini Khaini, which is labeled as snus and is marketed as a safe alternative to other tobacco products contains very high levels of carcinogenic nitrosamines and biologically available nicotine. Interventions are urgently needed to educate current and potential consumers of this product.

Citation: 
Stepanov I, Gupta PC, Dhumal G, Yershova K, Toscano W, HatsukamiD, Parascandola M. High levels of tobacco-specific N-nitrosamines and nicotine in Chaini Khaini, a product marketed as snus. Tob Control. 2014 Sep 12. pii: tobaccocontrol-2014-051744. doi: 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2014-051744. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 25217658