Background: Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS)-associated particulate matter (PM) constitutes a considerable health risk for passive smokers. It ought to be assessed separately from the other known toxic compounds of tobacco smoke. Brand-specific differences between cigarettes and particularly between cigarettes and favorably taxed cigarillos, are of public interest and therefore worth being investigated.
Methods: An automatic environmental tobacco smoke emitter (AETSE) was developed to generate cigarette and cigarillo smoke in a reliable and reproducible way. John Player Special (JPS) Red cigarettes, JPS filter cigarillos and 3R4F standard research cigarettes were smoked automatically in a 2.88 m3 glass chamber according to a standardized protocol until 5 cm from the top were burned down.
Results: Mean concentrations (Cmean) and area of the curve (AUC) of PM2.5 were measured and compared. Cmean PM2.5 were found to be 804 µg/m3 for 3R4F reference cigarettes, 1633 µg/m3 for JPS cigarettes, and 1059 µg/m3 for JPS filter cigarillos. AUC PM2.5-values are 433,873 µg/m3×s for 3R4F reference cigarettes, 534,267 µg/m3×s for JPS Red cigarettes and 782,850 µg/m3×s for JPS filter cigarillos.
Conclusion: Potential brand-specific differences of ETS-associated PM emissions among brands of cigarettes, and between cigarettes and cigarillos of the same brand and size should be investigated and published. Information about relative PM-emissions should be printed on the package.