Machine smoking regimes and human smoking behaviour

Technician holding a cigarette being tested

No current machine test method can routinely predict an individual smoker's exposure to tobacco smoke. Smokers will each smoke the same product differently.

For example, they will take fewer or shorter puffs, or they will vary how they smoke under different circumstances. They may also choose to inhale all, part or none of the smoke which leaves the cigarette. We have studied the effects of different cigarette designs on human smoking behaviour.

Smoking methods can only measure the yield of a particular smoke component (for example, the nicotine leaving the cigarette in the smoke), and not an individual's overall exposure. However, there are machine smoking methods approved by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) for cigarettes and fine cut tobacco which are appropriate for providing standardised information to consumers, who may use this information to select between brand variants.

The ISO methods rank brand variants consistently to indicate relative yields obtained under machine smoking regimes with fixed measuring conditions. The existing ISO smoking regimes for cigarettes and fine cut tobacco are robust, tried and tested methods which obtain yield measurements that can be reproduced consistently in laboratories around the world.

Alternatives to the existing ISO machine smoke testing regime have been developed in an attempt to provide machine tests that more closely reflect human smoking behaviour. We have also studied the influence of various proposed machine smoking parameters on smoke and constituent yields and compared the data with human smoking data.