The Antioxidant Activity of Tobacco Smoke

J. Johnson, M. A. Nisbet
1975 Beiträge zur Tabakforschung International  
AbstractCigarette smoke has been shown to contain free radicals in both the vapour and particulate phases. The present investigation was undertaken to find out whether these radicals could initiate or promote the formation of radical peroxides which might in turn lead to lipid peroxidation. To investigate this, a system involving the coupled oxidation of b-carotene and linoleic acid was utilized. In this coupled reaction, b-carotene is destroyed through oxidation by free peroxy radicals. The
more » ... xy radicals. The system can therefore be used as a convenient detector of auto-oxidative mechanisms in which peroxide radicals participate, as well as provide an assay for antioxidants, since in their presence oxidative destruction of b-carotene is blocked. Our results show that smoke did not contribute to the oxidative destruction of b-carotene but rather behaved as an antioxidant. Both smoke vapour and particulate matter were found to be highly antioxidant. A number of pure vapour phase components were tested and the bulk of antioxidant activity was found to be due to HCN. Smoke condensates from different tobacco types were compared and differentiated according to their relative efficiencies of antioxidant activities. For comparison, units of antioxidant activity were expressed as rate of change of optical density with time. The highest antioxidant activities were obtained with air-, flue-cured (cut) and perique tobaccos. Pipe tobacco had the least activity while cigar and flue-cured (granulated), stem and sheet tobaccos had intermediate values. Tests done on smoke fractions derived from the fractionation of total condensate revealed that antioxidant activity resided largely in the neutral and water-insoluble acid fractions with virtually no activity in the basic fractions. The mode of antioxidant action of tobacco smoke is discussed in terms of free-radical mechanisms.
doi:10.2478/cttr-2013-0351 fatcat:mom3k3f555gzzawzx4pfvisrk4