Article Title

Survey of nicotine and tar yields of domestic and imported cigarettes


During 1995 fiscal year, the National Laboratories of Foods and Drugs were commissioned to study the standard analytical methods and to conduct an annual survey of nicotine and tar yields of domestic and imported cigarettes. The objective was to provide a reference for the health authorities. In 1997, 324 samples of domestic and imported cigarettes were analyzed in compliance with ISO methods. Nicotine yields of domestic cigarettes ranged from 1.24 to 2.06 mg/cig and averaged 1.62 mg/cig. Corresponding tar yields ranged from 11.68 to 18.43 mg/cig and averaged 15.83 mg/cig. Nicotine yields of 42 imported brands ranged from 0.50 to 2.95 mg/cig and averaged 1.09 mg/cig, with corresponding tar yields ranging from 5.63 to 31.04 mg/cig and averaging 12.75 mg/cig. Thus both nicotine and tar yields of domestic cigarettes have reduced (since 1996), average yields were still higher than those of the imported cigarettes. Nicotine and tar yields of 4 imported cigarette brands were relatively high. According to a Health Department mandate, in 2001 the nicotine and tar yields in tobacco products shall not exceed 1.5 mg/cig and 15 mg/cig, respectively. By 2007, these upper limits will be further reduced to 1.2 mg/cig and 12 mg/cig. The tar and nicotine contents of several brands, both domestic and imported, will need to be reduced before the Health Department's new regulations come into effect.

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