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Carbon monoxide in the expired air of smokers who smoke so-called “light” brands of cigarettes
  1. ERNEST GROMAN,
  2. DORIS BLAUENSTEINER,
  3. URSULA KUNZE,
  4. RUDOLF SCHOBERBERGER
  1. Institute of Social Medicine
  2. University of Vienna
  3. Alserstr. 21/12
  4. 1080 Vienna, Austria
  1. Dr Groman nicotineinstitute{at}teleweb.at

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Editor,—Tobacco smoke is an important source of carbon monoxide (CO). Smokers with expired CO values of 11–21 parts per million (ppm) are defined as mild smokers, whereas those with expired CO values of more than 21 ppm are defined as heavy smokers.1 We report on the expired CO readings of smokers who smoke “light” brands compared to those who smoke regular brands. The approach chosen was designed to reflect real smoking habits, and was not laboratory based. Many health agencies measure tar and CO values using smoking machines under standardised laboratory conditions.2 However, cigarettes are not smoked by machines, and smokers may titrate their nicotine intake by varying their smoke inhalation and cigarette consumption.3 4 Here we show that there is no difference in CO concentrations in the expired …

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