OraSure® Oral Fluid Cotinine Test FAQs

The following are frequently asked questions about OraSure Technologies' OraSure® Oral Fluid Cotinine Test. For additional information, please contact Customer Care.

  1. Why test for Cotinine?
  2. Why is tobacco control important?
  3. Why are smoking cessation programs so important?
  4. Why oral fluid testing?
  5. How do I get more information?
  1. Why test for Cotinine?
    • Cotinine is the major metabolite of nicotine and is usually the test of choice to evaluate tobacco use or exposure to tobacco smoke because it is stable and is only produced when nicotine is metabolized. The presence of cotinine in an individual's sample may indicate the use of tobacco products or exposure to environmental tobacco smoke.(1)

    • Testing may be used in a number of situations to evaluate the possible use of tobacco products such as:
       • Smoking cessation programs
       • Prospective employment screening
       • Evaluations of applicants for health or life insurance
       • Health and wellness programs

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  2. Why is tobacco control important?
    • The adverse health consequences of tobacco use compromise the quality of life of many Americans and impose substantial direct and indirect economic costs on society.(2)

    • The adverse health effects from cigarette smoking account for an estimated 443,000 deaths, or nearly 1 of every 5 deaths, each year in the United States.(3)

    • Smoking-attributable losses in productivity are estimated to be $96.8 billion per year in the United States.(4)

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  3. Why are smoking cessation programs so important?
    • Smoking cessation greatly reduces the short- and long-term risks of smoking-related disease and death for men and women of any age.(2)

    • Only between 4% and 7% of smokers who attempt to quit without some type of smoking cessation program are successful.(5)

    • Studies conducted on smoking cessation programs have reported up to a 76% success rate when smoking cessation programs are utilized.(6)

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  4. Why oral fluid testing?
    • Laboratory results comparable to urine testing

    • Collect anytime, anywhere

    • Significant reduction in time away from work for sample collection

    • Preserves employee dignity with non-invasive collection process

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  5. How do I get more information?
    Contact our Customer Care Department for more detailed information at 1-800-869-3538.

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1. Mount Nittany Medical Center; Nicotine / Cotinine Test, 2009; http://www.mountnittany.org/wellnesslibrary/ healthsheets/documents?ID=5174; accessed 08/18/2011.
2. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Sustaining State Programs for Tobacco Control, Data Highlights, 2006.
3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Smoking and Tobacco Use, Fact Sheet, Health Effects of Cigarette Smoking, 2008, http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/health_effects/effects_cig_smoking/ index.htm, accessed 08/18/2011.
4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Smoking-Attributable Mortality, Years of Potential Life Lost, and Productivity Losses–United States. MMWR 2010; 57(45); 1226-1228.
5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cigarette Smoking Among Adults–United States, 2007. MMWR 2008 / 57(45); 1221–1226.
6. Harding, R, et al., Targeting Smoking Cessation to High Prevalence Communities: Outcomes from a Pilot Study Intervention for Gay Men; BMC Pubic Health, 2004; 4:43.

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