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Research paper
The analysis of mainstream smoke emissions of Canadian ‘super slim’ cigarettes

Abstract

Background Super slim cigarettes are a relatively new type of cigarette in Canada, and an analysis of select toxicants in the mainstream smoke emissions of the super slim cigarette was conducted.

Method The yields of selected toxicants in the mainstream smoke emissions of six brands of super slim cigarettes were compared with the Canadian Benchmark, which represents the cigarette designs most commonly found in Canada. A super slim cigarette was also compared with a ‘Reference Cigarette’ to study the impact of the significantly reduced circumference on mainstream smoke emissions.

Results Compared with the Canadian Benchmark, the yields of carbon monoxide, the carbonyls, volatiles and the aromatic amines were significantly lower for the super slim cigarette, but the yields of formaldehyde and ammonia were significantly higher. For brands containing a mixed tobacco blend, the yields of tobacco-specific nitrosamines were increased significantly. The reduced circumference of the super slim cigarette resulted in a lower tobacco weight, which together with filter ventilation resulted in lower yields of many toxicants. However, the reduced circumference increased significantly the yields of formaldehyde and phenols in mainstream smoke emissions.

Conclusions The notably slimmer design of the super slim cigarette resulted in lower yields of some toxicants in the mainstream smoke emissions. However, there were also significant increases in some toxicant levels in the mainstream smoke emissions including formaldehyde, ammonia and the phenols. There are no changes in emission levels that have been shown to reduce exposure or risk in a way that is meaningful, and therefore, the super slim cigarette should not be considered a ‘less harmful’ cigarette.

  • Canadian Benchmark
  • mainstream smoke
  • super slim
  • smoking conditions
  • ventilation
  • nicotine
  • tobacco industry
  • addiction
  • primary health care
  • smoking-caused disease
  • surveillance and monitoring
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