VOC and particulate emissions from commercial cigarettes: analysis of 2,5-DMF as an ETS tracer

Environ Sci Technol. 2008 Feb 15;42(4):1324-31. doi: 10.1021/es072062w.


Emissions of particulate matter (PM) and a broad suite of target volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in total, main-stream (MS) and side-stream (SS) smoke emissions are measured for six types of commercial cigarettes. The suitability of 2,5-dimethyl furan (DMF) as a tracer for environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is investigated using laboratory results and a field study of 47 residences. Over 30 VOCs were characterized in cigarette smoke, including several that have not been reported previously. "regular tar", "low tar", menthol, and nonmenthol cigarettes showed only minor differences in PM and VOC emissions. When total emissions are considered, PM emissions averaged 18 +/- 2 mg cigarette(-1) and VOC emissions averaged 3644 +/- 160 mg cigarette(-1). DMF appears to satisfy all requirements for a tracer, namely, uniqueness, detectability, similar emission factors across tobacco products (211 +/- 16 microg cigarette(-1)), consistent proportions to other ETS compounds, and behavior similar to other ETS components in relevant environments. On the basis of field study results, DMF more reliably indicated smoking status than occupant-completed questionnaires, and cigarette smoking was responsible for significant fractions of benzene (50%), styrene (49%), and other VOCs in the smoker's homes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Furans / analysis*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution*
  • Tobacco*
  • Volatilization


  • Furans
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution
  • 2,5-dimethylfuran