Dioxins in cigarette smoke

Arch Environ Health. 1989 May-Jun;44(3):171-4. doi: 10.1080/00039896.1989.9935882.


Dioxins in cigarettes, smoke, and ash were determined using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. The total concentration of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) in cigarette smoke was approximately 5.0 micrograms/m3 at the maximum level, whereas various congeners from tetra-octa-chlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (-CDD) were detected. Particullary, the total concentration of hepta-CDD congeners was the highest among these congeners. Mass fragmentograms of various PCDD congeners were similar to those in flue gas samples collected from a municipal waste incinerator. The PCDD congeners that were not present in the cigarettes were found in the smoke samples. The 2,3,7,8-TCDD toxic equivalent value--an index for effects on humans--for total PCDDs in smoke was 1.81 ng/m3 using the toxic factor of the United States Environment Protection Agency. Daily intake of PCDDs by smoking 20 cigarettes was estimated to be approximately 4.3 pg.kg body weight/day. This value was close to that of the ADIs: 1-5 pg.kg body weight/day reported in several countries. A heretofore unrecognized health risk was represented by the presence of PCDDs in cigarette smoke.

MeSH terms

  • Chromatography / methods
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Dioxins / analysis*
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Nicotiana / analysis*
  • Plants, Toxic*
  • Polychlorinated Dibenzodioxins / analogs & derivatives
  • Polychlorinated Dibenzodioxins / analysis*
  • Smoke / analysis*


  • Dioxins
  • Polychlorinated Dibenzodioxins
  • Smoke