How representative of the human smoking behaviour would be the new alternative smoking regimes? A first attempt of assessment
The ISO or FTC smoking conditions (35 mL - 2 s puffs, 1 puff per minute) have been more and more criticized during the last decade, especially because they would not reflect the human smoking behaviour. Their main objective was not to predict the exact yields that would be obtained by any smoker, but to enable to compare various cigarette products in terms of potential yields. Recently, a working group (WG9) has been created by the ISO with the objective of defining a new smoking regime that would be more representative of the smoking behaviour. After reviewing the literature on the question, 3 possible smoking regimes have been proposed, modifying the puff volume, the puff frequency, with a partial or a total filter vent blocking (WGA, B, and C). In Canada, an alternative smoking regime is already requested with an intense regime and a total vent blocking (INT). The aim of the present study was to compare the tar and nicotine yields obtained by smokers under natural conditions (n=432, usual smokers of 4 different commercial brands of the French market) to the yields obtained with those brands using the 5 smoking regimes (ISO, WGA, WGB, WGC, and INT). On average, the yields obtained by smokers were higher than the ISO yields, but lower than the lowest of the 4 alternative regimes. Moreover, more than 95% of the smokers produced less tar and nicotine from their brand than the lowest yield of the 4 alternative regimes. In conclusion, none of those alternative regimes should be considered to be more representative of the human smoking behaviour than the ISO one. For low ventilated cigarettes such as in this study, they could rather predict the maximum level a smoker could produce from the cigarette.