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June 22, 1994

Hair Nicotine and Cotinine in Women and Newborn Infants

Author Affiliations

Los Gatos, Calif

JAMA. 1994;271(24):1904. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03510480028016

To the Editor.  —I read with interest the article by Dr Eliopoulos and colleagues.1 This article was widely publicized by the news media as showing "for the first time measurable levels of nicotine in infants from passive smoking." I would like to ask the authors two questions.First, the article indicates that infants from mothers who were nonsmokers had 0.4 ng/mg of nicotine. Where did this nicotine come from?Second, the article indicates that infants from mothers with passive smoke exposure had 0.28 ng/mg of nicotine. I may not be a cognitive physician, but to me it looks as if the infants whose mothers were nonsmokers had a higher amount of nicotine than those from mothers exposed to passive smoke. Could the authors please explain this for me?While I await a reply to this question I shall fire up a fine cigar and enjoy life a little bit

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