A comparison of the yields of tar, nicotine, and carbon monoxide of 36 brands of Canadian cigarettes tested under three conditions

Prev Med. 1983 Sep;12(5):682-94. doi: 10.1016/0091-7435(83)90226-8.


A number of countries, including Canada, sponsor routine monitoring of cigarette tar, nicotine, and carbon monoxide yields which are evaluated by cigarette-smoking machines according to a standard protocol. These standardized yields continue to decline as tobacco companies modify their brands to meet consumers' demand for "light" products. This trend toward cigarettes with low average deliveries of toxic substances may reduce health risks for some people. However, switching to low-yield cigarettes may not result in reduced risks for smokers who smoke these cigarettes intensively. Thirty-six brands of Canadian cigarettes, including 28 with ventilated filters, were tested under standard conditions and 2 others in order to determine how yields of tar, nicotine, and carbon monoxide change when cigarettes are manipulated by smokers in order to increase their smoke intake. While the rank order yields of tar, nicotine, and carbon monoxide was preserved, the average yields of all three substances more than doubled when cigarettes were intensively smoked in comparison with standard smoking.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Carbon Monoxide / analysis*
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Methods
  • Nicotiana*
  • Nicotine / analysis*
  • Plants, Toxic*
  • Smoke / analysis*
  • Smoking
  • Tars / analysis*


  • Smoke
  • Tars
  • Nicotine
  • Carbon Monoxide