Ten symptomless smokers were switched from their usual cigarette to a low tar, low nicotine test cigarette for two weeks to investigate their immediate response and subsequent acclimatisation to the test cigarette. The tar (T) and nicotine (N) yields of the test cigarettes were T = 3.8 mg, N = 0.6 mg; the median yields of the usual cigarettes were T = 16.4 mg, N = 1.4 mg. The subjects were monitored over a six week period comprising a control period (usual cigarette), a test period (test cigarette), and a return period (usual cigarette), each lasting two weeks. The inhaled smoke volume (smoke from the burning tip of the cigarette which is subsequently inhaled) was measured with a non-invasive radiotracer technique. Puffing indices were recorded using an electronic smoking analyser and flowhead cigarette holder. Measurements were made at the beginning of the control period, at the beginning and end of the test period, and at the end of the return period. Subjects kept records of their cigarette consumption during each of the three periods. Apart from a small change in puff duration, cigarettes were smoked in the same way during the control and return periods. Mean and total puff volumes increased with the low tar, low nicotine cigarette but did not change from the beginning to the end of the test period. There was no significant change between the control, test, and return periods for mean inhaled smoke volume, total inhaled smoke volume, or cigarette consumption. It is concluded that when smokers are switched to a low tar, low nicotine cigarette the puff volume increases but there is no change in the inhaled smoke volume or daily consumption.
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