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Tob Regul Sci. 2018 Jan;4(1):592-604. doi: 10.18001/TRS.4.1.6.

Cigarette Design Features: Effects on Emission Levels, User Perception, and Behavior.

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Centre for Health Protection, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Bilthoven, The Netherlands.
Tobacco and Volatiles Branch, Division of Laboratory Sciences, National Center for Environmental Health, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta GA.
Division of Environmental Health Sciences and Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.



This paper describes the effects of non-tobacco, physical cigarette design features on smoke emissions, product appeal, and smoking behaviors - 3 factors that determine smoker's exposure and related health risks.


We reviewed available evidence for the impact of filter ventilation, new filter types, and cigarettes dimensions on toxic emissions, smoker's perceptions, and behavior. For evidence sources we used scientific literature and websites providing product characteristics and marketing information.


Whereas filter ventilation results in lower machine-generated emissions, it also leads to perceptions of lighter taste and relative safety in smokers who can unwittingly employ more intense smoking behavior to obtain the desired amount of nicotine and sensory appeal. Filter additives that modify smoke emissions can also modify sensory cues, resulting in changes in smoking behavior. Flavor capsules increase the cigarette's appeal and novelty, and lead to misperceptions of reduced harm. Slim cigarettes have lower yields of some smoke emissions, but smoking behavior can be more intense than with standard cigarettes.


Physical design features significantly impact machine-measured emission yields in cigarette smoke, product appeal, smoking behaviors, and exposures in smokers. The influence of current and emerging design features is important in understanding the effectiveness of regulatory actions to reduce smoking-related harm.


cigarette design; cigarette emissions; cigarette user perception and behavior; filter type; filter ventilation; smoking

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