Are available test methods for the determination of ammonia in mainstream cigarette smoke fit for the analysis of cigars?
In May 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a final rule to deem cigars to be subject to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, as amended by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. As part of this regulation, the FDA will require manufacturers to report the quantities of harmful and potentially harmful constituents (HPHCs) in cigar filler and smoke. Standardized methods do exist for the analysis of ammonia in cigarette smoke; however, these methods may not be fit for purpose for the analysis of cigars. Cigars vary widely in blend composition and size compared to cigarettes, which could further complicate the analysis of these products. CORESTA Recommended Method (CRM) No. 83 - "Determination of Ammonia in Mainstream Cigarette Smoke by Ion Chromatography" (CRM 83) is a standardized method used for ammonia in cigarette mainstream smoke. The results of this work indicate that the CORESTA Recommended Method may not be appropriate for all cigar products. In our evaluation of the trapping efficiency, we observed higher yields of ammonia in mainstream smoke with increasing concentration of acid in the trapping solution. In addition, the amount of ammonia detected in sample extracts increased over time faster with higher concentrations of acid. These observations suggest that under acidic conditions, another component in mainstream smoke may break down into ammonia. We also observed differences in these effects depending on the cigar blend composition. These results indicate that specialized methods need to be developed for the analysis of ammonia in cigar smoke.