Cigarette but contains dried saliva and some epithelial cells from the mouth. This may contain some quality DNA that can be extracted and used in DNA testing. Cigarette butts are useful in profiling of culprits from a crime scene and the DNA obtained from cigarette butts can be used to search against a database for possible matches. Cigarette butts can help in DNA testing when the alleged person is not available for sample collection and as the only trace sample available for analysis. They are easy to collect and store and can be used for DNA testing in the absence of a participant and provide an alternative to invasive acquisition of samples with a 50% success rate. However, the quality and amount of dna in the cigarette butt may not be sufficient for analysis and the sample has high chances of contamination from dirt.

How to Collect Cigarette Butts for DNA testing

1. A recently used cigarette butt should be used.

2. The butt should be collected with little or minimum contamination to preserve quality of DNA.

3. Wear gloves, and pick the cigarette butt carefully without collection dirt (don’t touch the cigarette butt with your bare hands; this can leave your DNA traces on the butt).

4. Place the butt into a clean envelope and seal.

5. Label accordingly (name, collection date, relationship).

6. Send to the laboratory for analysis.

DNA Testing Process

Acceptable DNA Samples


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