Misuse of "light" cigarettes by means of vent blocking

J Subst Abuse. 1994;6(3):333-6. doi: 10.1016/s0899-3289(94)90524-x.


Best-selling "light" cigarettes (9-12 mg tar, by FTC method; Federal Trade Commission, 1990) generally employ filter vents to reduce standard tar and nicotine yields. Earlier research on "ultra light" cigarettes (1-4 mg tar) showed that filter vents were blocked by human smokers leading to dramatic increases in tar and nicotine yields. An objective indicator of vent blocking was applied to a sample of 158 discarded light cigarette butts, and results indicated extreme vent blocking in 47% 27% ( +/- 8, 95% CI), some vent blocking in 26% ( +/- 8), and no vent blocking in 47% ( +/- 8). Cigarette consumers need to be informed of the risks of vent blocking as a countermeasure to the marketing of light cigarettes to health-conscious smokers.

MeSH terms

  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Filtration
  • Humans
  • Nicotine / administration & dosage
  • Nicotine / adverse effects*
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Smoking Prevention
  • Tars / adverse effects*
  • Tars / analysis


  • Tars
  • Nicotine