A multi-residue method for the determination of carbamates in tobacco was developed by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) triple quadrupole mass spectrometry (MS). A rapid sample preparation consisted of an extraction step with methanol, centrifugation and 1:1 dilution with aqueous 10 mM ammonium acetate. After filtration these extracts were directly analysed by reversed-phase HPLC coupled to positive electrospray ionisation tandem mass spectrometry operated in the multiple reaction monitoring mode. Capillary voltage and dwell times were optimised to reduce matrix effects and to increase sensitivity. The method was validated for the determination of 18 carbamates in three main types of raw tobacco and three tobacco products. The interday accuracy ranged between 80 and 110% with a relative standard deviation (RSD) of <30%. The limits of quantification (LOQs) ranged between 0.01 and 0.04 ppm for almost all carbamates, except aldicarb sulfone, carbofuran, and pebulate, with LOQs between 0.10 and 0.20 ppm. These LOQs were clearly below the guidance residue levels defined by the Agrochemical Advisory Committee of CORESTA, an association of organisations having scientific research relative to tobacco. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.