TSRC, Tob. Sci. Res. Conf., 2008, 62, abstr. 36

Market survey of chemical characteristics of smokeless tobacco products sold in Canada

Labstat International Inc., Kitchener, ON, Canada

This study was undertaken in order to characterize the chemical properties of smokeless tobacco products (STPs) for sale in Canada. A comprehensive marketplace survey was carried out in 2007 and resulted in the collection of 32 brands. The sample set consisted of 15 brands described as either Long or Fine Cut, 7 Snuff, 6 Pouch, 2 Chewing and 2 brands of Plug tobacco. Each of these was analyzed, in triplicata, for nitrate, tobacco specific nitrosamines, ammonia, sodium propionate, sorbic acid, triacetin, humectants, benzo[a] pyrene, Ni, Pb, Cd, Cr, As, Se and Hg using the mandated Health Canada methods. Nicotine, pH, moisture and 'free' nicotine were determined as described in the Federal Register Vol 64, No. 55 (1999). Average moisture content (%) was Long/Fine Cut, 53.3; Pouch, 43.2; Plug, 19.3; Snuff, 16.4 and Chewing, 6.5. Results for nicotine and (calculated 'free' nicotine) expressed as mg/g were: Plug, 10,1 (0.03); Chewing, 3.13 (1.96); Long/Fine Cut, 12.5 (2.64); Pouch, 12.9 (3.69); Snuff, 6.69 (6.41). Results for most other constituents fell into two groups; one designated as 'high' (H) made up of Pouch and Long/Fine Cut products and the second as 'low' (L) consisting of Chewing, Plug and Snuff tobaccos. Average moisture corrected values (H vs L) were: cadmium (ng/g), 951 vs. 353; nitrate (mg/g), 28.9 vs. 5.71; benzo[a]pyrene (ng/g), 53.5 vs. 15.9; ammonia (µg/g), 8332 vs. 594; NNN (ng/g), 4871 vs. 1303. By way of contrast, the average NNN content of Canadian cigarette filler was 612 ng/gm. In summary, STPs for sale in Canada are rather heterogeneous with wide range of constituent levels. 279,415 kg of STPs were sold in Canada in 2007.