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Compound in Cigarette Found in Smokers' Breath Even After 3 Days

by Tanya Thomas on May 23, 2010 at 9:59 AM
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 Compound in Cigarette Found in Smokers' Breath Even After 3 Days

A team of Catalan researchers has discovered the presence of a compound called 2,5-dimethylfuran, which lingers in a smoker's breath for 3 days.

This substance does not appear in the breath of non-smokers, unless they have been in direct contact with tobacco smoke for a long time. However, it may be detected in a passive smoker if he or she has been in direct contact with smoke for a long time.


"2,5-dimethylfuran cannot be detected in breath samples of non-smokers, meaning that the only way to know if a person has smoked in the last 72 hours is to use its qualitative determination", Juan Manuel Sanchez, researcher with the Chemistry Department of the University of Girona (UdG) and co-author of the study, reports to SINC.

"Benzene, which is sometimes appears in the bibliography, is only useful when tobacco consumption is relatively high and in short periods -between 1 and 2 hours- after having smoked a cigarette, which means it is of no use from a practical point of view", explains Sanchez.

To prove their theory, the researchers collected breath samples of 100 smokers and 104 non-smokers, who were first asked to answer a questionnaire on their habits.

The results confirm that the presence of 2,5-dimethylfuran is associated with the act of smoking.

The study appears in the journal Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry.

Source: ANI

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