Amount of nicotine and carbon monoxide inhaled by smokers of low-tar, low-nicotine cigarettes

JAMA. 1983 Nov 25;250(20):2840-2.


In 76 smokers, correlations between plasma nicotine and alveolar carbon monoxide levels of the individual smoker and the nicotine and CO yields of his cigarette were very poor. In 24 smokers of low-nicotine, low-tar cigarettes, mean alveolar CO levels did not differ from those of smokers of regular cigarettes. Mean plasma nicotine levels were lower in smokers of low-nicotine cigarettes, but a wide overlap of individual values occurred. The implication that an individual shifting to ultra-low-tar cigarettes reduces risks of cardiopulmonary disease is unwarranted.

MeSH terms

  • Carbon Monoxide / metabolism*
  • Chromatography, Gas
  • Coronary Disease / etiology
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / etiology
  • Lung Neoplasms / etiology
  • Nicotine / adverse effects
  • Nicotine / blood*
  • Pulmonary Alveoli / metabolism
  • Risk
  • Smoking*
  • Tars* / analysis


  • Tars
  • Nicotine
  • Carbon Monoxide