CORESTA Meeting, Smoke Science/Product Technology, 2017, Kitzbühel, STPOST 25

Comparison of WHO SOPs, CORESTA CRMs and ISO Standards for tobacco product testing

(1) Reemtsma Cigarettenfabriken GmbH (an Imperial Brands PLC Company), Hamburg, Germany; (2) SEITA-Imperial Tobacco Limited, Fleury-les-Aubrais, France

The WHO has previously requested that TobLabNet develop analytical methods and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for the analysis of tobacco constituents and smoke emissions of cigarettes. The main aim is to establish methods that will enable comparison of results from testing laboratories worldwide. The need for harmonised methods is also one of the key reasons why, historically, CORESTA initiated the development of recommended methods (CRM). CRMs are based on robust and comprehensively validated methodologies, which are periodically reviewed through collaborative studies which also provide precision data with known repeatability and reproducibility. Over decades, CRMs have formed the basis of several ISO standards.

We undertook an in-depth comparison of existing CRM or ISO methods with TobLabNet SOPs to assess similarities and differences between analytical procedures. The comparison included investigations of processes, workup of samples, general principles, equipment set-up, analysis time and efficiency.

It was observed that the analytical principles of SOPs and ISO/CRMs are broadly similar, however, there are major differences in some of the procedural details. For example, sample preparation, internal standards, and apparatus set ups often differ. It is also notable that the SOP requirements restrict their scope of application by excluding a wider range of tobacco products. Consequently, there may be a need for additional method development for several product categories to enable effective regulatory testing.