Testing aids nicotine-use cessation

Answers from the Lab

Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. In this test-specific episode of the "Answers From the Lab" podcast, Paul Jannetto, Ph.D., explains how Mayo Clinic Laboratories' nicotine testing benefits patients in smoking cessation programs and other settings.

"We offer both serum and urine nicotine and metabolite testing options," Dr. Jannetto says.

The serum test quantifies nicotine and its cotinine metabolite, which has a much longer half-life. The urine test (Test ID: NICOU) quantifies nicotine and cotinine as well as another metabolite, nornicotine, and anabasine, an alkaloid found in tobacco plants.

Quantifying these substances while patients are using tobacco helps tailor nicotine replacement doses early in nicotine cessation treatment. Random nicotine testing can also monitor patient compliance. In addition, testing can check compliance with nicotine-use cessation before anesthesia and be part of initial insurance policy assessments.

Listen to learn more about Mayo Clinic Laboratories' nicotine testing.

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Barbara J. Toman

Barbara J. Toman is a Senior Communications Specialist at Mayo Clinic Laboratories. She is also the science writer for Mayo’s Neurosciences Update newsletter, which helps referring physicians to stay informed about Mayo’s treatment and research. Barbara has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2007. She enjoys international travel and cooking.