The influence of changing nicotine to tar ratios on human puffing behaviour and perceived sensory response
Dixon, M., Kochhar, N., Prasad, K., Shepperd, J. and Warburton, D. M. (2003) The influence of changing nicotine to tar ratios on human puffing behaviour and perceived sensory response. Psychopharmacology, 170 (4). pp. 434-442. ISSN 0033-3158
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1007/s00213-003-1541-8
Rationale. Smokers modify their smoking behaviour when switching from their usual product to higher or lower tar and nicotine-yield cigarettes. Objective. The aims of the current study were to assess the influence of varying nicotine yields at constant tar yield on human puffing measures, nicotine deliveries under human smoking conditions and the sensory response to mainstream cigarette smoke. These assessments would allow an evaluation of the degree of compensation and the various possible causes of changes, if any. Methods. The participants were 13 regular smokers of commercial or hand-rolled cigarettes. They were tested with four cigarettes, which exhibited a wide range of nicotine to 'tar' ratios at a relatively constant 'tar' yield. Their smoking behaviour was monitored by placing the test cigarettes into an orifice-type holder/flowmeter attached to a custom-built smoker behaviour analyser. In addition, a comprehensive sensory evaluation of the products was carried out. Results. The differences in the nicotine to tar ratios of the samples did not significantly influence the puffing behaviour patterns, i.e. puff number and interval, total and average puff volume, integrated pressure and puff duration. Additionally the pre- to post-exhaled CO boosts were not significantly influenced by the experimental samples used in the study. However, the nicotine yields obtained by the smokers were significantly influenced by the machine-smoked nicotine yields or the nicotine to tar ratios of the samples. The machine-smoked nicotine yields were highly correlated with the nicotine yields obtained under human smoking conditions. For the sensory evaluation, there was only a significant difference between the samples in the intensity of the impact. Conclusion. These observations imply that these puffing variables are not controlled by the nicotine yield of the cigarette.