BETHESDA, MdThe National Cancer Institute is urging the Federal
Trade Commission (FTC) to replace its current cigarette testing
protocol with one that provides the full range of tar, nicotine and
carbon monoxide yields in individual cigarette brands.
The NCI's newest monograph in its series on Smoking and Tobacco
Control contains the findings and recommendations of an expert
committee that addressed the need for changes in the FTC's
cigarette-testing method. The committee also recommended the following:
A public education campaign must accompany the new testing approach
to make smokers aware that an individual's exposure depends on how a
cigarette is smoked and that the benefits of switching to lower-yield
cigarettes are small compared to quitting.
- A simple, graphic representation of tar, nicotine,
and carbon monoxide levels should appear on each pack sold and in all advertisements.
- Other constituents in cigarettes should be listed
on each pack and in all advertising, with each constituent classified
by its toxic effects.
- Terms such as "light" and "ultra
light" represent health claims and should be regulated by the
- Cigarette testing information should be available
to the public, since it is useless unless smokers have access to it.
- Questions about the purpose, methodology, and
utility of the FTC's testing protocol are complex medical and
scientific issues, and require the on-going involvement of federal
Single copies of the monograph, "The FTC Cigarette Test Method
for Determining Tar, Nicotine, and Carbon Monoxide Yields of US
CigarettesReport of the NCI Expert Committee," are available
from NCI at 1-800-422-6237.