"IARC group 2A Carcinogens" reported in cigarette mainstream smoke

Food Chem Toxicol. 2000 Apr;38(4):371-83. doi: 10.1016/s0278-6915(99)00156-8.


As a follow-up to an earlier study on IARC Group I compounds, further efforts have been made to evaluate the international literature on cigarette mainstream smoke for reports on constituents classified as IARC "Group 2A: probably carcinogenic to humans" and IARC "Group 2B: possibly carcinogenic to humans." IARC classifies 59 agents, mixtures and exposures as Group 2A. Of the overall list of 59, 50 represent chemical entities or complex mixtures ( [IARC,] ). When only chemical entities which have their origin from cigarette components (tobacco and paper) are considered, further searching of the international literature has revealed that nine chemical compounds of the 50 Group 2A listings have been reported in cigarette mainstream smoke ( Table 1 ). In micrograms/cigarette (mug/cig), the ranges reported for each of the nine compounds are as follows: formaldehyde (3.4-283); benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) (0.004-0. 108); dibenz[a,h]anthracene (DB[a,h]A) (0.004-0.076); N-nitrosodiethylamine (DEN) (non-detectable-0.0076); benz[a]anthracene (B[a]A) (trace-0.08); N-nitrosodimethylamine (DMN) (non-detectable-0.7-1.62); acrylamide (1.1-2.34); 1,3-butadiene (16-77); and 2-amino-3-methyl-3H-imidazo[4,5-f]quinoline (IQ) (0. 00026-0.00049).

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carcinogens / classification
  • Carcinogens / isolation & purification*
  • Humans
  • International Agencies
  • Plants, Toxic*
  • Smoke / analysis*
  • Tobacco / chemistry*


  • Carcinogens
  • Smoke