Ten asymptomatic smokers each smoked a low, low-to-middle and a middle tar cigarette with approximately the same tar-to-nicotine ratio, in a randomised order. The inhaled smoke volume was measured by tracing the smoke with the inert gas 81Krm. Puffing indices were recorded using an electronic smoking analyser and flowhead/cigarette holder. Throughout the study neither the mean inhaled smoke volume per puff nor the total inhaled smoke volume per cigarette changed significantly; however, the mean and total puff volumes were largest with the low tar cigarette and decreased with the higher tar brands. Puff volume was related to puff work (rs = 0.83, P less than 0.001) but was not related to puff resistance (rs = 0.10, P greater than 0.1). It is concluded that when switched between brands with the same tar-to-nicotine ratio, smokers increase their puff volumes with a lower tar cigarette but do not change the volume of smoke inhaled. Puff work and puff resistance were significantly correlated (rs = 0.45, P less than 0.02).