Challenges associated with the testing of cigars
A series of CORESTA Recommended Methods (CRM) have been developed for the analysis of nicotine-free dry particulate matter (NFDM), nicotine, water and carbon monoxide in the mainstream emissions of cigars. Two of these (CRM 64 and 65), predominantly set the foundation for the additional testing of mainstream constituents in cigar smoke. However, the cigar product segment embodies a diverse range of cigar shapes and sizes with additional challenges to accommodate products like premium cigars.
Using the current guidance for conditioning (CRM 46), conditioning time is not restricted by a time limit. The impact of this is not fully understood. The process of lighting and re-lighting of cigars during the smoking process can vary amongst products, and can be influenced by airflow and the amount of ash built up during this process. For products with a diameter exceeding ≥12.1 mm, a different puffing regimen can result with every 0.2 to 0.3 mm change in diameter. However, the diameter within a product can vary by as much as 2.6 mm. Premium products can also produce a large amount of total particulate matter (TPM). This routinely requires the collection from a single cigar, often exceeding the defined 200 mg capacity of a 55 mm collection pad.
It is recognized cigars may not be uniform in shape, have a lack of homogeneity in the filler, and have variability in porosity and combustibility. When testing cigar emissions, it is important to attempt to differentiate the variability associated with the product from the variability that may be associated with the analysis. This is further complicated as no cigar reference product or monitor test piece, similar to that of cigarettes, exists. Additional strategies to recognize when repeat testing may be required will be further discussed.