A proposed cigarette emissions topography protocol reflecting smokers' natural environment use behavior

PLoS One. 2022 Apr 5;17(4):e0266230. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0266230. eCollection 2022.


Background: The FTC, in 2008, rescinded its 1966 guidance regarding use of the Cambridge Filter Method, noting the yields from the method are relatively poor indicators of tar, nicotine, and carbon monoxide exposure. This article proposes a set of puffing conditions for cigarette emissions testing, with the goal of developing product-specific emissions characterizations which can subsequently be used to realistically model the yield of particulate matter and constituents to the mouth of a smoker, while accounting for the actual puffing behavior of the smoker.

Methods: Synthesis of data was conducted on data collected from a prior one-week observation of 26 adult cigarette smokers, using their usual brand cigarette in each smokers' natural environment including the puff flow rate, duration, volume and time of day of each puff taken were recorded with a cigarette topography monitor. Data was analyzed to determine the empirical joint probability function and cumulative distribution function of mean puff flow rate and puff duration. The joint CDF was used to define an emissions topography protocol using concepts common to computational grid generation.

Results: Analysis of 8,250 cigarette puffs indicated the middle 95% of mean puff flow rates varied between 15 and 121 [mL/s] while the middle 95% of puff duration varied from 0.55 to 3.42 [s].

Conclusions: Thirteen conditions of varying mean puff flow rate and puff duration are proposed for a comprehensive cigarette emissions topography protocol. The proposed protocol addresses inadequacies associated with common machine-puffing profiles used for generating cigarette emissions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems*
  • Environment
  • Humans
  • Nicotine
  • Smokers
  • Tobacco Products*


  • Nicotine