Mainstream smoke from Kentucky reference low "tar" (1R4F) and ultra-low "tar" (1R5F) cigarettes and a test cigarette (TOB-HT), that primarily heats tobacco, was compared for cytotoxic and genotoxic potential using cellular smoke exposure technology (CSET). CSET includes a computer controlled 30-port AMESA/Battelle-Geneva smoke generator which exposes cultured mammalian Chinese hamster ovary cells (CHO) to whole smoke. Cytotoxicity was assessed using the neutral red assay and genotoxicity was assessed using the sister chromatid exchange (SCE) assay. Compared on a per cigarette basis, mainstream smoke from 1R5F and the TOB-HT cigarette was significantly less cytotoxic and genotoxic than the smoke from the 1R4F cigarette. The cytotoxic and genotoxic activity of smoke from the TOB-HT cigarettes was slightly greater than the smoke from the ultra-low "tar" Kentucky 1R5F reference cigarettes. In conclusion, in these assays mainstream whole smoke of the TOB-HT cigarette had slightly greater cytotoxic and genotoxic potential compared with an ultra-low "tar" 1R5F Kentucky reference cigarette and significantly less activity compared with the whole mainstream smoke from a low "tar" 1R4F Kentucky reference cigarette, representative of the US market average cigarette for FTC yields of "tar", CO and nicotine.