Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Whose standard is it, anyway?
  1. Research & Development Centre
  2. British American Tobacco
  3. Southampton SO15 8TL, UK

    Statistics from

    Request Permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

    Editor—In their recent article inTobacco Control Bialous and Yach1create the impression that international standards for the machine smoking of cigarettes were foisted on the smoking public unilaterally by the tobacco industry by its influence on the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) through control of CORESTA (Centre de Co-operation pour les Recherches Scientifiques au Tabac). They also allege, inter alia, that the tobacco industry (1) has, through CORESTA, changed the methodology in order to produce lower smoke yield values to get round the European “tar” ceiling directives, and (2) misleads the public by developing low “tar” cigarettes to cheat the smoking machine, and then makes unjustified health claims about them. (“Standards” are documented agreements containing technical specifications or concise criteria to be used consistently as rules guidelines.)

    In their article, Bialous and Yach1 concentrated predominantly on a few highly selective quotes from internal tobacco company documents. They appear not to have consulted much of the very large volume of scientific literature published on the subject. When this information is taken into account it becomes obvious that the very narrow and restricted literature base of Bialous and Yach's analysis has resulted in them making factual errors, drawing wrong conclusions and writing inaccurate statements on many aspects of the subject.

    A review of the published literature on the subject shows clearly that the broad facts are as follows:

    (1) Techniques relevant to the machine smoking of cigarettes were developed and refined throughout the 20th century.2 3 The first standard was specified by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), a US federal government agency, in 1966 and first used to test cigarettes in 1967.4 The CORESTA recommended method, similar in many respects to that of the FTC, was developedafter the FTC standard and was published in …

    View Full Text