The WHO study group on tobacco product regulation (TobReg) advised regulating and lowering toxicant levels in cigarette smoke. Aldehydes are one of the chemical classes on the TobReg smoke toxicants priority list. To provide insight in factors determining aldehyde yields, the levels of 12 aldehydes in mainstream cigarette smoke of 11 Dutch brands were quantified. Variations in smoking behavior and cigarette design affecting human exposure to aldehydes were studied by using four different machine testing protocols. Machine smoking was based on the International Standardization Organization (ISO) and Health Canada Intense (HCI) regime, both with and without taping the filter vents. The 11 cigarette brands differed in (i) design and blend characteristics; (ii) tar, nicotine, and carbon monoxide (TNCO) levels; (iii) popularity; and (iv) manufacturer. Cigarette smoke was trapped on a Cambridge filter pad and carboxen cartridge. After being dissolved in methanol/CS2 and derivatization with DNPH, the aldehyde yields were determined using HPLC-DAD. Using an intense smoking regime (increased puff volume, shorter puff interval) significantly increased aldehyde yields, following the pattern: ISO < ISO-taped < HCI-untaped < HCI. For all of the regimes, acetaldehyde and acrolein yields were strongly correlated ( r = 0.804). The difference in TNCO and aldehyde levels between regular and highly ventilated low-TNCO cigarettes (as measured using ISO) diminished when smoking intensely; this effect is stronger when combined with taping filter vents. The highly ventilated low-TNCO brands showed six times more aldehyde production per mg nicotine for the intense smoking regimes. In conclusion, acetaldehyde and acrolein can be used as representatives for the class of volatile aldehydes for the different brands and smoking regimes. The aldehyde-to-nicotine ratio increased when highly ventilated cigarettes were smoked intensely, similar to real smokers. Thus, a smoker of highly ventilated low-TNCO cigarettes has an increased potential for higher aldehyde exposures compared to a smoker of regular cigarettes.