Task Force

CVAR - Cigarette Variability - 2014


  1. To develop an appropriate experimental plan to explore cigarette variability.
  2. To conduct a collaborative study to enhance the understanding of overall tobacco and smoke analyte variability relevant to commercial cigarette design features.
  3. To create a CORESTA Technical Report.

Analytical scientists worldwide measure analytes in cigarette tobacco and smoke and there is variability associated with these measurements. This variability can be due to either analytical sources (e.g., different methodologies or laboratories) or the inherent variability of the commercial cigarettes (e.g., raw materials or product design features).  CORESTA has focused on understanding the contribution of individual factors such as agronomy or laboratory testing on the overall variability of product analytes, but has not addressed the commercial product variability.

In November 2014, the CVAR CORESTA Task Force was formed with the above listed objectives.

For the collaborative study, commercial cigarettes are produced by manufacturing volunteers at multiple time points. The experimental plan includes three phases to investigate the cigarette variability within one production week (Phase 1) and subsequently between different production runs (Phase 2) collected quarterly for one year and (Phase 3) three years.

The experimental protocol was developed and finalised (Objective 1). The protocol defines procedures for product sampling, distribution and storage and determines the number of replicates to be analysed.

Cigarette samples are commercial cigarettes covering styles sold in Asia, Europe and North America. Cigarette samples are stored under defined conditions minimising potential temporal effects. Each volunteer laboratory has been assigned for a specific set of methods and all cigarette sample collections (time points) for each phase of the study are being tested at the same time to minimise temporal analytical variability.

Phase 1 was completed and the report published in September 2018.  Phase 2 was also completed and the report published in January 2019.  Phase 3 is now also complete and was published end of 2019.

The results are presented in the form of three CORESTA Technical Reports with supporting data files, which provide information on short-term, medium-term and long-term variability for a range of cigarette types available across the world-wide market.

The Task Force is coordinated by Jason Flora, Altria Client Services.

Rana Tayyarah, ITG Brands, LLC, the Task Force Secretary, is the Study Director and can be reached for additional information: Rana.Tayyarah@itgbrands.com


Updated December 2019