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Roll-your-own smoke yields: theoretical and practical aspects
  1. Keith G Darrall,
  2. John A Figgins
  1. Laboratory of the Government Chemist, Teddington, UK
  1. K G Darrall, Laboratory of the Government Chemist (LGC), Queens Road, Teddington, Middlesex TW11 0LY, UK.kgd{at}


OBJECTIVE To identify the key parameters that influence smoke yields from roll-your-own (RYO) cigarettes and to compare smoke yields of cigarettes made under laboratory conditions with those made by habitual RYO consumers.

DESIGN AND SETTING One-way parametric variations in the laboratory-based production of RYO cigarettes complemented by a consumer survey conducted in a busy street at Romford, Essex, United Kingdom.

SUBJECTS 26 habitual RYO consumers.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES Cigarette weights, puff numbers, and yields (carbon monoxide, nicotine, and tar).

RESULTS Smoke yields vary for specimen changes in weight of tobacco used, paper porosity, and the incorporation of a filter in the cigarette. Yields of cigarettes produced by 26 RYO smokers ranged from 9.9 to 21.0 mg tar per cigarette and from 0.9 to 1.8 mg nicotine per cigarette, and were generally lower than yields of laboratory-produced RYO cigarettes.

CONCLUSIONS Laboratory studies can provide useful information concerning the parameters that affect smoke yields of RYO cigarettes such as the incorporation of a filter to reduce yields. However, such studies must be complemented by surveys of cigarettes made by actual current RYO smokers. In one such investigation, it was found that the mean tar yields from cigarettes produced by 57% of the smokers were above the current maximum of 15 mg per cigarette for manufactured cigarettes. Currently 8% of manufactured cigarettes in the UK have a declared nicotine yield of greater than 1.1 mg per cigarette whereas 77% of RYO smokers produced cigarettes with a nicotine yield greater than this value.

  • roll-your-own cigarettes
  • smoke yield
  • carbon monoxide
  • tar
  • nicotine

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