OBJECTIVE To understand the tobacco industry's research on and use of cigarette additives that alter the perception of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS).
DATA SOURCES Internal documents from four websites maintained by the major US tobacco manufacturers and company patents pertaining to the use of ETS altering additives obtained from the US Patent and Trademark Office online database.
STUDY SELECTION Electronic searches of the four industry websites and the US patent database were conducted using keywords to identify relevant data.
DATA EXTRACTION Industry documents and patents obtained using an exploratory snowball sampling method were reviewed and grouped into four general categories according to whether the additive(s) described affected ETS visibility, odour, irritation, or emissions. Accuracy of isolated findings was validated through cross comparison of the data sources.
DATA SYNTHESIS Results of this preliminary study provide evidence that tobacco manufacturers have conducted extensive research on the use of chemical additives to reduce, mask, or otherwise alter the visibility, odour, irritation, or emission of ETS.
CONCLUSIONS Findings suggest that the tobacco industry uses additives to reduce the perception of ETS. To protect the public, appropriate regulation of tobacco additives should be mandated.
- environmental tobacco smoke
- tobacco industry
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