Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Updated Data for Nicotine, Tar, and CO Content Of Domestic Cigarettes

As I mention on my main smoking page, the last published report on the tar, nicotine, and CO content of cigarettes appears to have been Tar, Nicotine, and Carbon Monoxide of the Smoke of 1294 Varieties of Domestic Cigarettes For the Year 1998. According to an article at http://freegovinfo.info/archive/200608, the last report was released in September 1999 and the Federal Trade Commission has continued collecting data on nicotine but has not published reports on the findings. However, I recently came across data for 2006 and 2007 in a report titled 2006 and 2007 Tar, Nicotine, and Carbon Monoxide Reports which was released under the Freedom of Information Act on May 15, 2012. I've compiled and sorted the data from 2007 and posted links to it on my main smoking page.

Underneath those links, I added a link to the previous data from 1994. The reason for this was to allow someone to compare the 1994 and 2007 data and get an idea of how much the numbers had changed for any specific brand. Then they could judge how much the numbers might have changed since 2007. For example, the following table shows the change in the numbers for Carlton:

      CHANGE IN CARLTON FROM 1994 TO 2007

YR  NIC   TAR    CO   LEN  FLTR  PACK  STRENGTH
--  ---  ----  ----  ----  ----  ----  --------
07* 0.1     1     1    85  F     HP    ULTRA-LT
07* 0.1     1     2    85  F     SP    ULTRA-LT
07  0.1     1     1   100  F     HP    ULTRA-LT
94        <.5  <.05
07  0.1     1     1   100  F     SP    ULTRA-LT
94  0.2     2     3                    LT
07  0.5     5     3   120  F     SP    ULTRA-LT
94                4                    LT

* no change from 1994
The table shows that the strength of 85mm (Kings) Carltons have not changed at all. For the 100s hardpack, the tar and CO content have gone up from the very low level that they were measured in 1994 but the nicotine level is the same. Conversely, the strength of the 100s softpack has about halved and has been relabeled from "Light" to "Ultra-Light". It would appear that the strength was purposely lowered to more closely match the strength of the Kings and 100s hardpack. However, the 120s softpack remains about five times as strong as the Kings and 100s.

Following is similar data for brands of Now and Merit which existed in both 1994 and 2007:

        CHANGE IN NOW FROM 1994 TO 2007

YR  NIC   TAR    CO   LEN  FLTR  PACK  STRENGTH
--  ---  ----  ----  ----  ----  ----  --------
07  0.2     1     2    84  F     SP    ULTRA-LT
94  0.1                               (not listed)
07  0.3     3     4   100  F     SP    ULTRA-LT
94  0.2     2     3                   (not listed)

       CHANGE IN MERIT FROM 1994 TO 2007

YR  NIC   TAR    CO   LEN  FLTR  PACK  STRENGTH
--  ---  ----  ----  ----  ----  ----  --------
07* 0.2     1     3    84  F     SP    ULTIMA
07  0.4     5     6    84  F     SP    ULTRA-LT
94  0.5
07  0.3     2     4    99  F     SP    ULTIMA
94  0.2           5  
07* 0.5     5     7    99  F     SP    ULTRA-LT

* no change from 1994
In all of the tables above, a blank value for 1994 indicates that it is the same as for 2007. In any case, the 1994 and 2007 data can be compared in a similar way for other brands to judge how much they have changed over time and are likely to have changed since 2007.

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