ABSTRACT: Tobacco snuffing, like cigarette smoking, is known to be a common habit among the adults of Igbo communities in Nigeria. In view of the various pharmacological actions of nicotine and other additive constituents of tobacco snuff, there is growing concern that ascorbic acid, which is a vital antioxidant, and blood cell production or morphology may be affected. To investigate the possible effects of prolonged use of tobacco snuff on plasma ascorbic acid concentrations and some hematological parameters. Fifty adults of Igbo extraction (35 males and 15 females) residents in and around Enugu metropolis, who have been snuffing tobacco for 6 years and above, were recruited for the study, after they gave informed consent. Also, 50 apparently healthy, age-matched persons (25 males, 25 females), who do not smoke or take tobacco snuff, served as controls. Spectrophotometric method was adopted for ascorbic acid determination while hematological profiles were assessed by Bain method. The results showed no significant difference in the measured parameters relative to the controls AA (P=0.08); Hb (P=0.19); PCV (P=0.10); RC (P=0.06); PC (P=0.20); WBC (P=0.09). The results of the study suggest that tobacco snuff inhalation may not adversely affect plasma ascorbic acid concentration and hematological parameters in adult humans. The study, however, has not concluded that tobacco snuffing is totally wholesome.
03/2012; 2(1):46-8. DOI:10.4103/2141-9248.96937