"IARC Group 2B carcinogens" reported in cigarette mainstream smoke

Food Chem Toxicol. 2001 Feb;39(2):183-205. doi: 10.1016/s0278-6915(00)00164-2.


In the third and final part of a series surveying the international literature on the "IARC carcinogens" in cigarette mainstream smoke, the "IARC Group 2B carcinogens" are reviewed. A search of the published literature shows that of 227 chemical components classified as Group 2B, that is, "possible carcinogens," by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), 48 have previously been reported in cigarette mainstream smoke. Owing to its highly interactive molecular nature, removal from or inhibition of a given mutagenic or carcinogenic chemical within the complex aerosol mixture cannot reliably be predicted to reduce either the overall mutagenicity or carcinogenicity. However, in the absence of experimental data demonstrating an increase in adverse biological activity resulting from removal or inhibition of a potentially carcinogenic constituent, negation of the activity of the potential carcinogen may be considered as a desirable circumstance.

Publication types

  • Corrected and Republished Article

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Benzo(a)pyrene / analysis*
  • Benzo(a)pyrene / toxicity*
  • Carcinogens / analysis*
  • Carcinogens / toxicity*
  • Mutagens / analysis
  • Mutagens / toxicity
  • Plants, Toxic*
  • Smoke / adverse effects*
  • Smoke / analysis*
  • Tobacco*


  • Carcinogens
  • Mutagens
  • Smoke
  • Benzo(a)pyrene