Tobacco companies are responding to public pressure to market less dangerous and aversive products by developing novel smoking systems. The short- and long-term effects of these systems must be evaluated to determine the risks inherent in their use. One such system, the Accord, uses a hand-held device to heat tobacco electronically and is marketed as a means to reduce second-hand smoke. In this study 10 cigarette smokers (> or = 10 cigarettes per day) were recruited to evaluate the short-term effects produced when using this system. Subjects abstained from smoking for at least 8 h before participating in two experimental sessions where they smoked either their usual brand or used the Accord at 30-min intervals for 2 hours. Subject-rated measures of tobacco withdrawal and craving, physiological measures, and smoking behavior were assessed within each session. Results show that, when using the Accord, the magnitude of smoking-induced craving reductions and the physiological effects of smoking were less, and puff volume and frequency were greater than when subjects smoked their own brand of cigarettes. The expired air carbon monoxide increases observed after smoking own brand cigarettes did not occur after using the Accord. The novel system does not provide maximal withdrawal suppression and produces little increase in expired air carbon monoxide; physiological data suggest that the novel system may deliver nicotine less efficiently than normally marketed cigarettes. Smokers using the Accord system may smoke more often or more intensely to compensate for decreased withdrawal suppression and/or nicotine delivery.