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Undergraduate Research Project Management System

Establishment of Nicotine and Cotinine Protocol Using Agilent LC-MS/MS; Determination of Vitamin D Levels in smokers and never-smokers

Status Complete
Seeking Researchers No
Start Date 07/01/2008
End Date 06/30/2009
Funding Source Alaska Heart Institute Fellowship
Funding Amount
Community Partner
Related Course
Last Updated 06/26/2009 09:59PM
Keywords nicotine, smoking, tobacco


  Cindy Knall

Student Researchers
  Oksana Miller


This study will provide an accessible and affordable means for future monitoring of tobacco use in Alaska and to determine the exacerbating effects of tobacco use on Vitamin D deficiency. Currently, there is no low-cost method available in Alaska for detecting nicotine levels in humans and tobacco and cigarette use in the State is common and particularly high among Alaska Natives. In fact, according to the National Health Interview Survey, the rate of cigarette smoking among Alaska Natives is almost twice higher than in the general US population. Alaska Natives have high rates of tobacco-related deaths and lung cancer remains to be one of the leading causes of all cancer-related deaths especially in rural regions of Alaska. Residents of Northern climates have found to have lower levels of Vitamin D than populations in southern or mid latitudes. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to many forms of cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, autoimmune diseases and heart disease. This second phase of this study will determine whether nicotine contributes to Vitamin D deficiency in Alaskans.

This study has two main aims: the first to establish a mass spectrometry protocol for detecting nicotine and its metabolites such as cotinine in human blood and urine samples for futur use in practices relevant to human health such as: monitoring smoking cessation efforts, detecting cigarette exposure in children and fetuses of smoking pregnant women, developing a tobacco control plan and also encouraging the smoking part of the population to reduce cigarette and tobacco use. The second aim is to determine whether nicotine and its metabolites contribute to Vitamin D deficiency in tobacco users.

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