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Open Access Comprehensive Chemical Characterization of Natural American Spirit Cigarettes

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This article is Open Access under the terms of the Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND licence.

Objectives: Marketing of the Natural American Spirit (NAS) cigarettes implies reduced risk of toxic exposures. We aimed to provide a comprehensive chemical characterization of these cigarettes. Methods: We analyzed 13 varieties of NAS for a range of tobacco- and combustion-derived constituents. Cigarettes were smoked by 2 standard regimens and analyzed using our routine analytical procedures. We also analyzed tobacco filler and physical cigarette characteristics. Results: Under intense smoking conditions, nicotine in smoke of NAS cigarettes averaged 3.3(±0.7) mg/cigarette, compared to 2.4(±0.4) in other brands. The levels of carcinogenic nitrosamines NNN and NNK varied extensively across NAS varieties, their sum ranging from 71 to 443 ng/cigarette. Levels of volatile toxicants were generally similar to, or higher than those found in other commercial US cigarettes. Conclusions: High nicotine content suggests that NAS cigarettes may be more addictive than many other brands. Similarly low TSNA levels were measured in some NAS varieties, independent of whether or not they were labeled as organic. Levels of other toxicants were similar to other brands. Consumer education and additional regulatory measures are needed to address the misperceptions that NAS cigarettes are safer than other commercial cigarette brands.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 2019

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  • Tobacco Regulatory Science (Electronic ISSN 2333-9748) is a rigorously peer-reviewed online scientific journal for the dissemination of research relevant to the regulation of tobacco products. The journal content includes a broad array of research domains, including chemistry, biology, behavior, community, and population-level surveillance and epidemiology, as well as knowledge syntheses (eg, meta-analyses or state-of-the-art reviews) and analytic modeling. All articles describe the policy relevance of the research outcomes. Given the global nature of tobacco regulation, particularly as a result of international and national policies, Tobacco Regulatory Science publishes high quality research that is relevant to global regulatory needs and requirements. Tobacco Regulatory Science is published electronically 6 times per year.
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