Smokeless tobacco (ST), such as the betel quid, causes oral cancer. It is used widely by the ethnic BME groups from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The identification of users and the measurement of intake by expired air CO measurements is impossible as no CO is generated. An alternative is the measurement of cotinine in saliva. The aim of this study was to evaluate a rapid colorimetric saliva test for cotinine and other nicotine metabolites in a group of smokeless tobacco users. Volunteers (n=45, 24 male, age range 21-65 years) were recruited from areas of Portsmouth, Southampton and East London. Saliva was collected and 1 ml of sample was added to the Saliva SmokeScreen test which after a few minutes turned shades of pink if cotinine and other nicotine metabolites were present. After 10 minutes the test colour was compared against a 3-point colour chart. All smokeless tobacco users tested positive, giving a sensitivity of 100%. Male users were found to have higher cotinine levels. This study concluded that the SmokeScreen test could detect ST use with a high degree of sensitivity. A larger study is planned to incorporate the test to improve methods of educating and engagement among ST users.
Presentation 2 Title: Shisha smoking – cool and fun? – The next wave!
Throughout England, smoking the water pipe shisha has become a trendy pursuit for the young. It is usually shared between friends and is seen to be an enjoyable and relaxing experience. However, very few understand the shocking truth. Our team of researchers carried out a field study and spoke to a number of users on their perceived risks and undertook carbon monoxide readings at various time over a typically 60 minute session. This showed readings spinning to at least four times more than the amount produced by one cigarette!
The poster presentation will share the results of this study, undertaken with a cohort of 87 participants, some dual users (cigarettes & Shisha) and the readings taken at 15 minute intervals. The CO readings of our research team were also taken showing the impact of ‘passive’ smoking.
Another key issue within the South Asian community is tobacco chewing, and how it is a culturally acceptable and a norm. Following a series of test purchases, these products were readily available and were sold in attractive packages, in some cases near the sweet counter from as little as 20p per single packet.