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Open Access Publications from the University of California

SACTob Recommendation on Health Claims Derived form ISO/FTC Method to Measure Cigarette Yield

  • Author(s): World Health Organization
  • et al.

The United States Federal Trade Commission [FTC] adopted standardized testing methods for the measurement of tar and nicotine yields of cigarette smoke in the 1960s and for carbon monoxide in 1981, mandating the disclosure of these ratings in cigarette advertising (1). Under the International Organization for Standardisation [ISO] method, similar testing methods were adopted in Europe and many other countries.

For nearly three decades, the ISO / FTC methods were relied upon as meaningful predictors of the differences in exposure to tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide received by smokers of brands with different machine measured yields. This difference in exposure was expected to result in substantive differences in the health effects of smoking various types (low/high yield) of cigarettes (2). Since the 1980s, however, there has been growing concern among health authorities and scientists alike about the validity of the health claims based on these methods (3, 4, 5, 6, 7).

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