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Determination of tar, nicotine, and carbon monoxide yields in the mainstream smoke of selected international cigarettes


Objective: Survey of nicotine, tar, and carbon monoxide (CO) smoke deliveries from 77 cigarette brands purchased in 35 countries was conducted using a standardised machine smoking method. The goal of this study was to determine regional variations and differences in the tar, nicotine, and CO smoke yields of a cigarette brand manufactured by a leading transnational corporation and of non-US locally popular cigarette brands.

Design: The majority of the cigarettes were purchased in each of the participating countries by delegate members of the World Health Organization and forwarded to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for analysis. Smoke deliveries were determined using a standardised smoking machine method and subsequent gravimetric and gas chromatography analysis.

Results: The smoke deliveries varied widely. Mainstream smoke deliveries varied from 6.8 to 21.6 mg tar/cigarette, 0.5 to 1.6 mg nicotine/cigarette, and 5.9 to 17.4 mg CO/cigarette. In addition to the smoke deliveries, the cigarettes were examined to determine physical parameters such as filter composition, length, and ventilation levels.

Conclusion: Analysis of the smoke deliveries suggested that cigarettes from the Eastern Mediterranean, Southeast Asia, and Western Pacific WHO regions tended to have higher tar, nicotine, and CO smoke deliveries than did brands from the European, American, or African WHO regions surveyed.

  • tar
  • nicotine
  • cigarette
  • machine smoked
  • ANOVA, analysis of variance
  • BAT, British American Tobacco
  • CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • CFP, Cambridge filter pad
  • CO, carbon monoxide
  • FTC, Federal Trade Commission
  • GC, gas chromatography
  • GLM, general linear modeling
  • ISO, International Organization for Standardization
  • PM, Philip Morris
  • QC, quality control
  • TPM, total particulate matter
  • WHO, World Health Organization—AFRO, African Region
  • AMRO, American Region
  • EURO, European Region
  • EMRO, Eastern Mediterranean Region
  • SEARO, Southeast Asian Region
  • WPRO, Western Pacific Region

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