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New book

Smoking – what all healthcare professionals need to know by Dr. Graham F. Cope

Available from www.mkupdate.co.uk

Frequently Asked Questions

SmokeScreen

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FAQ

Will this test tell me how many cigarettes a person has smoked?

No, because people smoke many different types of cigarettes and smoke them in different ways. It will tell you the nicotine intake a person has consumed over the last 3 days - a much better estimate of a person's smoking habit.


What happens if a person is using nicotine replacement therapy?

The test will be positive as the test detects nicotine from any source. The test can be used to better prescribe the right level of nicotine replacement, rather than basing it on cigarette consumption.


Why do people lie about their smoking to their healthcare professional?

Because they feel that their treatment may be withdrawn or changed if they declare their smoking habit. The more they feel under pressure, the more they will lie.


When using the test with a colour chart, what is the shortest and longest time I can leave before reading the result?

The colour change of the test is visible after one minute. The optimal time to read the result is six minutes. If read before five minutes the result will be positive, but less than the correct result. After six minutes it will be more than the true result.


How do I dispose of the test after use?

It is recommended to place the used test in a 'burn' or 'sharps' bin for disposal.


Can any other substance interfere with the test?

Nicotine replacement therapy will give a positive result and nicotine from any other source such as betel quid, snuff, snus, and hookah pipe.


What is the sensitivity and specificity?

The published independent figures for sensitivity (percentage of true positives) is 100% and for specificity is 98% (J Vasc Surg 2005).


Can I use the urine sample as soon as it has been voided?

The test should be used when the urine is at room temperature. If used too soon an erroneous result will be obtained


Will the tests pick up passive smoking?

The colour change resulting from passive smoking (or exposure to second-hand smoke) can not be seen by eye. However, the sensitive Analyzer can detect passive smoking levels.


What is the test result if I am not sure whether the tests has changed colour?

The test has to be viewed under good lighting conditions, and then if there is any doubt if there has been a colour change then the result is negative. There has to be a visible colour change for the result to be positive.


How should I store the tests?

The tests should be stored at room temperature.


What is the shelf-life of the test?

The tests have a shelf-life of 12-months after manufacture. The expiry date is displayed on the carton or pouch.