Tobacco use is one of the main leading causes of disease and death worldwide and according to the World Health Organization (WHO), constitutes a major issue to public health. Given the importance of nicotine as the major constituent of tobacco and its addictive potency on consumers, determining its content in cigarettes sold on Ivorian markets shows to be important. The aim of this study was to determine and compare nicotine content in imported and local brands of cigarettes marketed in the district of Abidjan. Nicotine was extracted from twenty-one brands of cigarettes with six being local and fifteen imported. Nicotine contents were measure by UV-Vis spectrophotometry at a wavelength of 508 nm. The assay method was linear on a concentration range of 0.2 to 1 mg/ml with a coefficient of determination of 0.9963 and a detection limit of 0.15 mg/ml. The average nicotine content in cigarettes of Ivory Coast brands was 1.73 ± 0.19 mg of nicotine/cigarette while that in imported brands was 2.25 ± 0.74 mg of nicotine/cigarette (p < 0.05). The lowest nicotine content was found in the local brand cigarette "Ex001", whereas the highest content was found in an imported brand cigarette "OR001 Pulse Bleu". The nicotine content of all tested cigarettes was higher than the European standard and a significative difference was found between the determined amounts of nicotine content in the cigarettes brands and the amounts displayed by the manufacturer on the cigarettes’ packs. Monitoring of nicotine content in cigarettes sold on the Ivorian market should be considered in prevention strategies against smoking addiction and tobacco-related diseases.
Key words: UV-Vis Spectrophotometry, tobacco cigarettes, nicotine content, local market, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.
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