Estimating the hazards of less hazardous cigarettes. II. Study of cigarette yields of nicotine, carbon monoxide, and hydrogen cyanide in relation to levels of cotinine, carboxyhemoglobin, and thiocyanate in smokers.J Toxicol Environ Health. 1981 Mar-Apr; 7(3-4):391-403.JT
Yields of chemical constituents such as tar, nicotine, CO, and HCN defined by smoking machines are commonly assumed to provide a reasonable indication of the relative hazard associated with smoking a given brand of cigarette. Results reported here suggest that this assumption should be carefully reexamined. A total of 240 subjects, representing a wide range of smoking and brand characteristics, were recruited for an investigation of possible relations between brand yields and exposure (levels of carboxyhemoglobin, breath CO, plasma cotinine, plasma thiocyanate, and saliva thiocyanate). Exposure was highly correlated with consumption (number of cigarettes per day), but their was no correlation between any estimate of exposure and brand yield when level of consumption was held constant. In addition, a comparison of levels of carboxyhemoglobin and plasma thiocyanate for 16 smokers of "low-hazard" and 15 smokers of "high-hazard" cigarette brands revealed little difference between the two groups, even though average cigarette yields differed as much as 2- to 3-fold. A possible explanation for the results may be that current values for average puff volume, duration, and interval differ significantly from those used in programming smoking machines, particularly in the case of brands with low nicotine delivery.