A tiered testing strategy has been developed to evaluate the potential for tobacco processes, ingredients, and other technological developments to increase or decrease the biological activity resulting from burning tobacco. The strategy is based on comparative chemical and biological testing. Propane expanded tobacco is an example of a processed tobacco used in the modern manufacture of cigarettes. Test cigarettes containing propane expanded tobacco were compared to control cigarettes containing tobacco expanded with a traditional expansion agent (Freon-11). The toxicological evaluation included chemistry studies using mainstream cigarette smoke (determination of selected constituent yields), in vitro studies using cigarette smoke condensate (Ames study in Salmonella typhimurium and sister chromatid exchange study in Chinese hamster ovary cells) and in vivo studies (13-week inhalation study of mainstream cigarette smoke in Sprague-Dawley rats and 30-week dermal tumor promotion study of cigarette smoke condensate in SENCAR mice). Although statistically significant differences in several smoke constituents were observed, most constituents from cigarettes containing 100% propane expanded tobacco were within market survey ranges. Furthermore, biological tests indicated that the cigarettes containing propane or Freon-11 expanded tobacco were not significantly different.