A portable microcomputer-assisted flow transducer was developed for analysing puff parameters during smoking of low- and medium-tar cigarettes. Smoke flow was determined by measuring pressure difference between two sites within an orifice flowmeter. According to the Bernoulli equation, the pressure difference is proportional to the square of flow. For calibration of the method, various sizes of air volumes were puffed through the flowmeter by a piston syringe. The calibration curve, which consisted of the flow as a function of the square root of pressure difference, was linear (r = 0.98). The automatic microcomputer analysis consists of the following variables: mean flow and mean volume of inhaled smoke gas, puff duration, time interval between two puffs, number of puffs and total volume inhaled. Eight volunteers smoked 10 low- and 10 medium-tar cigarettes during the cross-over experiments. The investigation indicated that the total inhalation volume of smokers in the case of low-tar cigarettes is twice as large as in the case of medium-tar cigarettes.