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Tobacco specific terms only

Activated carbon
Granular form of charcoal used in cigarette filters.  Charcoal is treated using an activation process to provide a material with a high surface area and porosity. Its high porosity makes it an efficient adsorbent for the reduction in yields of certain smoke constituents.

Suspension of fine liquid or solid particles in a gas. Cigarette smoke is an example of an aerosol, with a high concentration of particles, vapours and gases in air.

A process used for drying harvested tobaccos, mainly Burley tobaccos.  It is conducted under ambient environmental conditions.

A mixture of individual tobacco grades.  All tobaccos found in commercial cigarettes are blends. As well as tobacco grades, blends may contain a number of other minor components such as ingredients, plant protection agents and migration chemicals.

Biomarkers of exposure
Measurable constituents of body fluids which show that a substance (e.g. a cigarette smoke toxicant) has been taken into the body. The constituent may be the substance itself or a metabolic breakdown product (“metabolite”) of the substance.  A Biomarker of Exposure for nicotine is its metabolite cotinine.

Bright tobacco
An alternative name for virginia tobacco.

Burn additives
Chemicals such as sodium or potassium citrates applied to cigarette paper in order to regulate the speed at which a cigarette burns.

Butt length
The length of unburnt cigarette remaining after smoking is stopped.  Prior to machine smoking the butt length is marked on the cigarette at the greater of 23mm from the mouth end, filter length +8mm or tipping length + 3mm.  During machine smoking measurements smoking is terminated when when the cigarette burn line reaches the butt length mark.

Refers to compounds contained in a tobacco blend. It is composed of four sub-categories of compounds: tobacco constituents, plant protection agents, ingredients and migration chemicals.

Cambridge filter pad
Commercially available glass fibre filter pads, used in smoking machines to collect smoke samples as part of procedures to measure yields of cigarette smoke and some individual constituents under laboratory conditions.

Canadian intense
A machine smoking regime adopted by Health Canada in 1999 using 55ml puff volume, 2s puff duration, 30s puff interval and with 100% blocking of the filter ventilation.

Cellulose acetate
A fibre produced by the acetylation of cellulose and used as the raw material for the manufacture of some cigarette filters.  
‘Clearing the Smoke’
 A publication produced by The Institute of Medicine in 2001. It assessed the scientific basis for tobacco harm reduction, specifically with respect to potential reduced-exposure products (PREPs). Institute of Medicine. (2001). Clearing the Smoke: Assessing the Science Base for Tobacco Harm Reduction . National Academy Press, Washington, DC. ISBN 0-309-07282-4.

Cigarette design
The approach of combining different cigarette elements (such as the tobacco blend, cigarette paper, filter, and tipping) to meet the required sensory characteristics and machine determined smoke yields.

Cigarette machine yield
Cigarette machine yield is the amount of a given mainstream smoke constituent exiting the cigarette under machine smoking conditions at a specified smoking regime. The units are mass of the constituent per cigarette.

Cigarette smoke
The aerosol produced by burning a cigarette.  Cigarette smoke can be subdivided into the mainstream smoke inhaled by the smoker and the sidestream smoke which is generated by the smouldering tip of the cigarette.

COMET assay
The COMET assay is a technique used to quantify one form of DNA damage, DNA strand breaks, at the level of the individual eukaryotic cell. An electric current is applied to a gel matrix causing the migration of fluorescently labelled individual cell.

A change in smokers’ behaviour in response to smoking a product of different machine yield from their ‘normal’ product.  Compensation can result in either an increase or decrease in smoking intensity.

Carbon monoxide (CO)
A toxic gas formed during incomplete combustion of organic substances such as tobacco. It is a major constituent of cigarette smoke.

CORESTA  "Centre de Coopération pour les Recherches Scientifiques Relatives au Tabac" (Cooperation Centre for Scientific Research Relative to Tobacco).  CORESTA is an association whose purpose is to promote international cooperation in scientific research relative to tobacco.

A Coresta unit is a measure of cigarette paper permeability, defined as the flow (cm3 min-1) passing through a 1 cm2  sample of test material at an applied pressure of 1.00 kPa.

CORESTA recommended methods
Standardised analytical methods for the measurement of tobacco and cigarette contents or properties, materials used in the manufacture of tobacco products and smoke yields, as developed by the CORESTA organisation.

A metabolite of nicotine.

A method of drying freshly harvested tobacco leaves for use in tobacco products. The methods of curing influence the physical, chemical and sensory characteristics of the dried leaf. Different types of tobacco are cured in different ways. Curing methods include air-curing, flue-curing, fire-curing and sun-curing.

DIET (sometime referred to as expanded tobacco)
Dry Ice Expanded Tobacco is a process for increasing the volume of cut leaf tobacco through treatment with carbon dioxide. 

Dose is the amount of a material, e.g. a toxicant, taken up by the body during exposure to the material. In the context of smoking, dose is the amount of smoke constituent absorbed by the smokers body, a specified body compartment or a specified body organ. Biomarkers are indicators of dose. Dose can be derived from biomarker measurements either empirically or theoretically. The units are mass of smoke constituent (at the defined site) over a unit of time. It is related to the duration and quantity of a smoker’s intake of smoke toxicants, and the degree to which the toxicants are retained by the smoker. Dose has also been expressed in epidemiology studies as cigarettes per day, per year or pack year history.

Dose response
Describes the relationship between the Dose of a substance over time and the associated biological response. For cigarette smoking, it has been established historically that the greater the dose over time (e.g. numbers of cigarettes smoked, per day, per year) the greater the effect in terms of incidence of disease.

Electronic Cigarette
Electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes, e-cigs or Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), are typically cigarette-shaped battery-powered electronic devices that produce an aerosol  that users inhale.  These products are used by cigarette smokers as a substitute for the experience of smoking tobacco. There is no combustion so the user inhales vapour, not smoke and, although the nicotine is derived from tobacco, e-cigarettes contain no actual tobacco.

Liquid formulation within an e-cigarette.  E-liquid formulations typically comprise an excipient/carrier/solvent (propylene glycol and/or glycerol), nicotine and sometimes flavourings. Typical constituent levels in e-liquids are:

  •  nicotine 0-5%
  • glycerol 0-95%
  • PG 0-95%
  • water 0-5%
  • flavourings <0.5%

Emissions is a general term for the substances produced when tobacco products are burnt. Emissions may refer to the total amount of smoke generated or to  individual chemicals in smoke (smoke constituents).

The study of the incidence of disease and death in populations; the key science for assessing the risks of smoking.

Exposure to a substance means simply coming into contact with it. In the context of cigarette smoking, exposure to a smoke constituent is the maximum potential dose of the smoke constituent. Not all of the substance to which an individual is exposed is absorbed or otherwise available for potential biological activity. Dose has a complex, often non-linear relationship to exposure.

The European Smokeless Tobacco Council  is a tobacco industry body representing the interests of smokeless tobacco manufacturers and distributors as well as tobacco trade associations.  ESTOC monitors smokeless tobacco related issues, including the latest scientific developments, at a European and worldwide level.

Environmental Tobacco Smoke is a complex mixture of chemicals that appears in an environment (for example, in a room) following cigarette smoking. It is comprised of aged and diluted sidestream smoke and exhaled mainstream smoke.

Expanded tobacco

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