Background Regulation of filter ventilation (FV) has been proposed to reduce misperceptions that ventilation reduces the health risks of smoking. We describe smoking behaviour and exposure after switching to a cigarette brand variant (CBV) with a different FV level.
Methods Wave 1 (2013–2014) of the Population Assessment of Tobacco Use and Health Study was merged with FV levels of participants’ CBV and restricted to adults with a usual CBV, smoked daily and included in wave 4 (2016–2017; n=371). Generalised estimation equations method modelled changes in FV and cigarettes per day (CPD), quit interest, total nicotine equivalents (TNE) and total NNAL (biomarker of a tobacco-specific carcinogen). FV change was defined as a change in CBV resulting in a ≥20% increase or decrease in FV. Secondary analyses used FV change based on an increase from <5% to >10% or a decrease from >10% to <5%.
Results A non-significant pattern indicating an increase of 0.97 and 0.49 CPD was observed among those who switched to a CBV and increased FV by ≥20% and from <5% to >10%, respectively. A non-significant pattern indicating a decrease of 1.31 and 1.97 CPD was observed among those who decreased FV by ≥20% and from >10% to <5%, respectively. Changes in quit interest and biomarkers were also non-significant with one exception: greater reduction in TNE among those who decreased from >10% to <5% FV versus no change (−8.51 vs −0.25 nmol/mg creatinine; p=0.0447).
Conclusions Switching to CBV with lower FV does not appear to increase exposure and may even reduce exposure for some. Additional investigations are recommended to confirm these descriptive findings.
- tobacco industry
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