Robustness of HPHC Reduction in THS 2.2 Aerosol Relative to 3R4F Reference Cigarette Smoke under Extreme Climatic Conditions

Authored by  L Poget, C Goujon-Ginglinger, S Kleinhans, S Maeder, JP Schaller

Published in Contributions to Tobacco & Nicotine Research    


In order to assess robustness for the reduction of harmful and potentially harmful constituent (HPHC) levels generated by the Tobacco Heating System 2.2 (THS 2.2), a heated tobacco product, we compared the aerosol of this product with mainstream smoke from the 3R4F reference cigarette under different conditions of temperature and humidity. The desired climatic conditions were achieved by using an air-conditioning system coupled with the smoking-machine housing. Two extreme climatic conditions were selected, representing a “Hot and Dry” climate (30 °C and 35% relative humidity RH) and a “Hot and Very Humid” climate (30 °C and 75% RH). In addition, aerosol and smoke were generated using the standard conditions recognized for smoking-machine analyses of tobacco products (22 °C and 60% RH), which were close to the climatic conditions defined for “Subtropical and Mediterranean” environments (25 °C and 60% RH). The experimental conditions were chosen to simulate the use of THS 2.2 and cigarettes under extreme conditions of temperature and humidity. HeatSticks and cigarettes taken from freshly opened packs were subjected to short-term conditioning from two to a few more days under the same experimental conditions. We analyzed 54 HPHCs in THS 2.2 aerosol and 3R4F cigarette smoke, generated in accordance with the Health Canada Intense (HCI) standard, using modified temperature and humidity conditions for sample conditioning and machine-smoking experiments. We used a volume-adjusted approach for comparing HPHC reductions across the different climatic conditions investigated. Although a single puffing regimen was used, the total puff volume recorded for the 3R4F cigarette smoke varied due to the influence of temperature and humidity on combustion rate, which justified the use of a volume-adjusted approach. Volume-adjusted yields were derived from HPHC yields expressed in mass-per-tobacco stick normalized per total puff volume.

The results indicated that, regardless of the considered climatic conditions, the HPHC levels investigated in THS 2.2 aerosol were reduced by at least 90%, on average, when compared with the concentrations in 3R4F cigarette mainstream smoke. This confirmed the robustness in performance for THS 2.2 to deliver reduced levels of HPHCs under the extreme climatic conditions investigated in this study. In order to further characterize the robustness of these reductions, the lowest reduction performance achieved for individual HPHCs across all climatic conditions was used to define the threshold for a robust reduction. The majority of the 54 HPHCs investigated in THS 2.2 aerosol showed more than 90% reduction. Calculations derived from nicotine-adjusted yields also confirmed robust reductions for all investigated HPHCs. The small differences in absolute reduction between the volume- and nicotine-adjusted approaches were predominantly attributed to a combination of the differences in both nominal nicotine deliveries and total puff volumes between THS 2.2 and 3R4F cigarettes; however, this did not influence the determination of robustness. Our findings confirm the value of this approach for assessing the robustness of a product’s performance under different climatic conditions.