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Salivary Cotinine

Salivary Cotinine

When nicotine from tobacco smoke is taken into the lungs and enters the bloodstream, the principle metabolite produced in the liver is cotinine.  Cotinine diffuses easily from blood into saliva, and salivary and blood levels are highly correlated. (1)  Cotinine in saliva has a longer half-life than nicotine (more than 10 hours), and the literature has documented it to be a specific and sensitive marker for determining exposure to tobacco and nicotine. (2,3,4)​