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This problem is a combustion problem so we know that one of the reactants is O2, and given the products of CO2, H2O, and N, we know that the oxygen in the products comes from O2. This would mean that C,H, and N make up nicotine. Also I believe during that midterm he told us it was CHN
You can add up the mass of C, H, N which you can determine to see if this adds up to the mass of the sample that was combusted. You will find that it is approximately equal to (within experimental uncertainty) to the mass of burnt sample. So, there is no mass contribution by the oxygen.
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