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TSRC, Tob. Sci. Res. Conf., 2023, 76, abstr. 60

Substantial equivalence of tobacco products: are all tobacco products of the same type and characterizing flavor substantially equivalent? Examples of equivalence and nonequivalence among waterpipe tobaccos

Lauterbach and Associates, Deland, FL, USA

Many adults who use tobacco products are unaware of differences among the brand-styles of the tobacco products they use or even differences in their preferred brand-style. For example, there is little in the peer-reviewed literature that tells us how far we can change the tobacco blend, nontobacco ingredients, processing, and fabrication parameters for a brand-style of conventional combustible cigarettes before a statistically significant number of consumers of that brand will notice the difference in the smoking properties of the cigarette. There are numerous other tobacco products for which there are little data on how changes in blend, nontobacco ingredients, processing, and fabrication parameters can affect consumer sensory responses. Waterpipe tobacco (WPT) is one such product type. WPT’s are mixtures of glycerol, sugar syrups, tobacco, flavors, and in some cases, colorants. Tobacco is < 30% and nicotine is < 0.2% by weight in final products. The remainder is glycerol (VG), sugar syrups, flavors, and other solvents such as propylene glycol (PG), triacetin, ethanol. Literature reports show preferences for some flavors over others [e.g., fruits (particularly apple), candy, mint >> spice, tobacco]. Since many manufacturers offer similar products, and they may only differ in flavor composition, but bear the same flavor name, deciding what products are essentially equivalent requires a combination of physical (particle size distribution, optical microscopy) and chromatographic analyses for tobacco type (flue-cured, dark air-cured, burley) levels of VG, PG, sugars, and flavors. Examples with data and conclusions on equivalence will be provided for the followings cases: same flavor name, but different blends and manufacturers; same flavor name, but different manufactures; and same tobacco type, different trade-name flavors, and different manufacturers, but same tobacco type.