Cigarillo and Little Cigar Mainstream Smoke Constituents from Replicated Human Smoking

Wallace B. Pickworth, Zachary R. Rosenberry, Daniel Yi, Emily N. Pitts, Wilhelmina Lord-Adem, Bartosz Koszowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Little cigar and cigarillo smoking is increasing in popularity in the U.S., but little is known about the topography and mainstream smoke (MSS) constituents of these types of cigar products. This report describes the quantity of selected MSS toxicants generated from puff-by-puff replication of human laboratory smoking. Participants were dual users of cigarettes and either little cigars (n = 21) or cigarillos (n = 23). In the laboratory smoking session, participants of the little cigar group smoked a filtered unflavored Winchester Little Cigar; those in the cigarillo group smoked an unfiltered, unflavored Black & Mild cigarillo. MSS components included both volatiles and semivolatile compounds. The MSS of five representative U.S. domestic cigarettes was generated using smoking topography profiles of the participants smoking their own brand of cigarettes. Machine smoking accurately replicated individual puff profiles as indicated by a high correlation between lab and machine smoked: time to smoke, number of puffs, and total puff volume. There was wide variability in smoking patterns across subjects of both little cigars and cigarillos. For example, total puff volume ranged from 84 to 732 mL after the little cigar and from 270 to 2089 mL after the cigarillo. Qualitatively, cigar smoke from little cigars and cigarillos were similar and resembles cigarette smoke. All analytes (VOC and SVOCs) were greater in cigarillo smoke compared to that of little cigars and cigarettes. However, when the toxicants were adjusted for grams of tobacco burned, little cigar smoke contained more nicotine, tobacco-specific nitrosamines, acetonitrile, and acrylonitrile compared with cigarillo smoke. When the constituents were adjusted for nicotine content, cigarillo MSS contained more of all toxicants compared with little cigar. Cigarillos and little cigars, like cigarettes, deliver nicotine and other toxicants known to be harmful to health; their regulation by the FDA is appropriate for their public health risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)251-258
Number of pages8
JournalChemical research in toxicology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 16 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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