The Chemical Constituents in Cigarettes and Cigarette Smoke: Priorities for Harm Reduction

A Report to the New Zealand Ministry of Health by Jefferson Fowles, Ph.D. & Michael Bates, Ph.D.

Published online: 
03 March 2000

This report discusses possible components of a harm reduction strategy for tobacco products. It describes what a harm reduction strategy might include and discusses how such a strategy can be justified from a public health viewpoint.

The report reviews and summarises the available data and international policies relating to chemical constituents (excluding nicotine and tar) of cigarettes and cigarette smoke. Reported yields of toxic chemicals in smoke were taken from all available published sources.

In all, 95 chemicals in cigarette smoke were identified. These 95 chemicals include 45 known or suspected carcinogens, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, and many other chemicals with non-cancer adverse health effects.

The report combines central estimates of the reported yields of these chemicals with their published cancer potency factor slopes or reference concentrations for non-cancer effects, obtained from the United States Environmental Protection Agency, to propose a risk-based priority-setting scheme for harm reduction of cigarettes.

Publishing information

  • Date of publication:
    03 March 2000
  • Citation:
    Epidemiology and Toxicology Group ESR: Kenepuru Science Centre
  • Ordering information:
    Only soft copy available to download
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