12.6 Additives and flavourings in tobacco products

Last updated: January 2022
Suggested citation: Winnall, WR. 12.6 Additives and flavourings in tobacco products. In Greenhalgh EM, Scollo, MM and Winstanley, MH [editors]. Tobacco in Australia: Facts and issues. Melbourne: Cancer Council Victoria; 2022. Available from https://www.tobaccoinaustralia.org.au/chapter-12-tobacco-products/12-6-additives-and flavourings-in-tobacco-products   

12.6.1 Why are chemicals added to tobacco products?

Tobacco product additives are defined as any substance that is added during the course of manufacture of a tobacco product, with the exception of water.1 These include flavours, preservatives, humectants (chemicals that retain moisture) and anti-microbials, but not the fertilisers or pesticides added during the growth of tobacco plants. There are almost 600 additives that have been documented in cigarettes, but individual brands usually have 40 or more additives.1

Additives were rarely used up until the 1970s, but are now common, constituting up to 10% of the weight of a cigarette or roll-you-own tobacco.1 Roll-your-own tobacco contains at least as many additives by weight as the tobacco in ready-made cigarettes (also called factory-made cigarettes).2-4 Cigars and pipe tobacco generally contain less additives by weight than cigarette tobacco.1 Cigar retailers often claim their products are ‘all natural’,5 however flavour additives and high-intensity sweeteners have been found in cigars.6-8 Some pipe tobaccos contain midribs (smaller stem that extends from the main stalk of the tobacco plant), and flavours in casing and sauces are frequently added to these.1 Waterpipe tobacco commonly contains many additives, mostly flavours and sweeteners.1 ,9 Kreteks contain significant amounts of cut cloves and sun-dried flower buds as well as other additives.10 ,11 Flavourings are common in bidis, such as cherry, menthol and strawberry.12

The tobacco industry usually refers to added chemicals as ‘ingredients’. Manufacturers claim they use additives to provide consistency in their products, create unique brands, control moisture and ‘replenish natural sugars lost during leaf curing’.13 ,14

Regulators are most concerned with additives that increase the addictiveness, attractiveness and/or toxicity of tobacco products. Some additives, such as menthol, can increase the effects of nicotine, making quitting more difficult for smokers. Flavours, humectants and chemicals that mask the harsh feel of smoking affect the taste, smell and the ease of use. Many additives may sound innocuous, such as sugars, but once burned these produce chemicals such as aldehydes that are toxic and carcinogenic (cancer-causing).15 Many additives increase more than one of these attributes, and some increase all three of attractiveness, addictiveness and toxicity.

Additives such as humectants and flavourings are added to the tobacco filler at various stages during tobacco processing. Additives may also be added to the filter, cigarette paper and tipping paper (around the filter). Some varieties of tobacco are more likely to require additives to adjust the flavour and harshness of the tobacco taste.

Some cigarette, roll-your-own and pipe tobacco products are labelled ‘organic’ or ‘additive free’. The emissions from these products do, however, contain carcinogens, respiratory poisons and other toxicants present in tobacco products with additives.16

12.6.2 Additives that increase the addictiveness of tobacco products

There are no known additives that are addictive by themselves, and no known instances of the industry directly adding nicotine to tobacco products.1 However, additives to tobacco products can amplify the effects of nicotine on the brain.

Nicotine is the main addictive chemical in tobacco, produced by the tobacco plant. Nicotine moves rapidly from the smoke into the bloodstream, via the lungs, then into most regions of the body. The addictive effects of nicotine come from its binding to cellular receptors in the brain, triggering the dopaminergic reward system (see Section 6.3 for more details). There are numerous ways in which tobacco product additives may increase the addictive effects of nicotine,1 described below.

12.6.2.1 Additives that increase the bioavailability of nicotine

The bioavailability of nicotine is the proportion of the nicotine from emissions that moves into the blood circulation. The bioavailability of nicotine from cigarettes is high, with 80 to 90% of nicotine in cigarette smoke being absorbed through the lungs into the blood stream.17

Menthol is an additive that alters nicotine metabolism, making it remain in the body for longer and sustaining its effect on the central nervous system. See Section 12.7 for more details.

It is possible that decreasing the acidity of tobacco emissions can increase the amount of nicotine entering the blood. Biological evidence suggests that reduced acidity increases absorption of nicotine through the mouth, however evidence about the effects on nicotine absorbed through the lungs is less clear (see Section 12.4.3.1).

Addition of ammonia or ammonium compounds to tobacco products is common. Ammonia can decrease the acidity of smoke and this might be increasing nicotine bioavailability.1 ,18 ,19 But it remains uncertain whether added ammonia in cigarettes increases the amount of nicotine in the blood as there is a lack of direct biological evidence. Ammonium compounds decompose to release ammonia, a gas that is highly water soluble, into the smoke. Ammonium bicarbonate, diammonium phosphate and urea are commonly added to tobacco products, with reconstituted tobacco20 serving as a source of ammonia, in addition to ammonia itself.18

Addition of sugars as flavours can increase the acidity of tobacco smoke, possibly reducing nicotine bioavailability. Ammonia may be added to counteract this increase in acidity.1  

Studies conducted and published by the tobacco industry claim that ammonia does not affect blood nicotine levels.21 ,22 However, these studies are criticised for using cigarettes that already have high levels of ammonia in the tobacco filler, reducing the expected differences between cigarettes with and without added ammonia, and for using “low ammonia” cigarettes that had high percentages of Burley tobacco, which can increase the pH of smoke.23 ,24 One study that was independent of the tobacco industry also showed no difference in blood nicotine levels when high and low ammonium cigarettes were smoked.25

The World Health Organization’s (WHO) 2015 5th Report of the Scientific Basis of Tobacco Product Regulation argues that the rate of nicotine absorption is more important than the total amount of nicotine absorbed. An important factor in reinforcing nicotine dependence is the uptake rate and the concentration spike within 10 seconds of the first puff.24 ,26 Whether nicotine uptake rate is affected by added ammonia or ammonium compounds is currently unknown.

The tobacco industry claims that—rather than to increase the bioavailability of nicotine—ammonia is added as a flavour or “binding” agent, which would provide structural stability to the filler.20 Despite this claim, many documents released by the industry as part of settlement arrangements for litigation describe the ‘augmentation of the impact of nicotine’ through the addition of ammonia or ammonium compounds.20 How ammonia is having this effect is not well understood.

12.6.2.2 Additives that increase the addictiveness of nicotine

Sugars are commonly added to tobacco products as flavourings. During the burning of a cigarette, sugars are converted into various aldehydes (see Section 12.4.3.2) by chemical reactions.15 One of these aldehydes, called acetaldehyde, may increase the addictiveness of nicotine.27 Additionally, acetaldehyde is also a carcinogen and respiratory toxicant.

Animal experiments show that acetaldehyde can increase the activity of nicotine in the brain, but not by increasing the amount of nicotine that enters the brain.27 ,28 This is described as a reinforcing effect. Experiments in animals conducted by Philip Morris showed that the combination of nicotine and acetaldehyde results in a rewarding effect, the extent of which exceeds the additive effects of each substance.1 Potential mechanisms for this effect of acetaldehyde include its involvement in chemical reactions that produce molecules that mimic neurotransmitters (signalling molecules in the brain) and therefore promote addictiveness, and by leading to the formation of chemicals that inhibit a crucial brain enzyme called monoamine oxidase.1 ,29

There is a lack of experimental evidence in humans for the effects of acetaldehyde from additives on nicotine and addiction. Tobacco, particularly the Virginia variety, contains high levels of sugars, as well as polysaccharides and cellulose that form acetaldehyde upon burning of a cigarette. It is unclear whether the addition of sugars to tobacco leads to a significant increase in acetaldehyde levels. Furthermore, little of the acetaldehyde produced during burning is believed to enter the blood stream. Ultimately the research on additives that produce acetaldehydes and their ability to increase the effects of nicotine in humans is inconclusive.1

Interestingly, a lozenge-delivered inhibitor of acetaldehyde showed some promise for increasing quitting of cigarettes in a small randomised controlled trials.30 ,31

Added menthol increases the addictiveness of nicotine by its effect on the central nervous system and possibly by altering nicotine metabolism. See Section 12.7 for more details.

12.6.2.3 Additives that facilitate the inhalation of tobacco smoke

It has been proposed that increasing bronchodilation (opening up the airways more) could enable the smoker to inhale deeper, therefore inhale a larger volume of smoke.

Added menthol or thymol (a very similar molecule to menthol) facilitate deeper inhalation of smoke, potentially increasing the addictiveness of nicotine indirectly. See Section 12.7 for more details.

Additives such as theobromine (made from cocoa) and eucalyptol may also increase bronchodilation. However, there is no evidence for this from biological experiments and the levels of these chemicals in smoke are relatively low.32

12.6.3 Additives that increase the attractiveness of tobacco products

Improving the user experience of a tobacco product can make it more difficult for people to quit and more likely that young people will take up smoking.1 ,33 Tobacco products can be made more attractive through modifying the flavour, smell or appearance of the smoke, reducing harshness (irritation to the mouth or throat), masking harshness by increasing smoothness, or improving the feel or look of a product.1 ,33

Additives that increase the attractiveness of tobacco products are often part of a mixture called a casing. Casings are sprayed on tobacco strips or leaves early in the primary processing. These are sometimes referred to as ‘sauce’ and contain a variety of ingredients such as humectants, sugars, cocoa, liquorice and fruit extracts. Sugars in the casing are used to reduce the harshness of smoke.1 ,15 Sweeteners and other flavours added later in the process are called ‘top dressing’. These are volatile, highly aromatic oils that are used in very small amounts. Top dressings are applied in an alcohol-based spray at the last stages of primary processing.1

12.6.3.1 Flavouring additives

Chemicals that produce flavours are added to tobacco to improve the taste of smoke, either by introducing pleasant flavour ‘notes’ or by masking unpleasant ones. Most of the range of known additives to tobacco are suspected to contribute to the flavour of the product. Table 12.6.1 details many flavouring additives in cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco in Europe. Of particular interest to regulators are ‘characterising flavours’ that predominantly influence the flavour and attractiveness of tobacco products.34 Examples of characterising flavours include diacetyl (which smells like butterscotch), geraniol (which smells like geranium and occurs in rose, citronella and many other essential oils), guaiacol (which smells like smoked ham, vanilla or cloves), fenugreek, fig extract, prune juice extract, rum and vanillin. Additives such as ammonium compounds and lactic acid may also modify the flavour of tobacco.34

 

Table 12.6.1 Tobacco additives (in cigarettes and roll-your-own-tobacco) on the list of priority substances, from the Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks, 2016

 

Additive

Priority list

Reported role of additive by industry

Reasons for listing

Toxicity/other concerns

 

Acetanisole

 

Flavouring

TUB

Skin irritant, may have general depressant activity

Aliphatic gamma-lactones

gamma-Valerolactone,

 

 

INU TAB CF

 

gamma-Hexalactone,

 

 

INU CF

 

gamma-Heptalactone,

 

 

INU CF

 

gamma-Octalactone,

 

 

CF

 

gamma-Nonalactone,

 

 

CF

 

gamma-Decalactone,

 

 

INU CF

 

gamma-Undecalactone,

 

 

CF

 

gamma-Dodecalactone

 

 

INU CF

 

 

Ammonium compounds

 

Flavour-enhancing

INU

Respiratory toxicant

 

Benzaldehyde

 

Flavouring, aroma

TAB TUB

Hazardous substance, irritant, unclear toxicity of pyrolysis products

 

Benzoic acid and sodium benzoate

 

Preservative and pH adjuster

TUB TAB

Skin and eye irritants, may give rise to toxic pyrolysis products

 

Benzyl alcohol

 

Flavouring, solvent

TUB INU

Allergen, harmful substance by inhalation

 

Caramel colours

 

Flavouring

TAB CF

CMR after combustion, toxic combustion products

 

Carob bean extract

Y

Flavouring

TAB

CMR after combustion, Toxic and carcinogenic pyrolysis products

 

Cellulose

 

Binder

TAB

CMR after combustion (toxic and carcinogenic pyrolysis products)

 

Cocoa

Y

Flavouring, casing

INU TAB

potentially increases addictiveness

 

β-damascone

 

Aroma, taste-modifier

TAB

Potential genotoxicity and potentially toxic combustion products

 

Diacetyl

Y

Flavouring, aroma

CF TUB

CMR in unburnt form, possibly genotoxic, respiratory toxicant

 

2-furfural

 

Flavouring

TUB

CMR in unburnt form, co-carcinogenic effect with benzo[a]pyrene, present in cigarette smoke possible respiratory toxicant,

 

Geraniol

Y

Flavouring

CF TUB

Possibly CMR in unburnt form, Skin and eye irritant

 

Glycerol

Y

Humectant (casing)

TAB INU

Pyrolysed into toxic acrolein

 

Guaiacol

Y

Flavouring

CF TUB INU

CMR in unburnt form, possibly genotoxic, irritant of eye, skin, respiratory system

 

Guar gum

Y

Adhesive, binder, flavouring

TAB

CMR after combustion, Hazardous, reduces harshness

 

Linalool

 

Flavouring

INU TUB CF

Allergen (skin sensitiser), analgesic effects

 

Liquorice

Y

Flavouring

TAB

Possible effect on bronchodilation

 

Maltol

Y

Flavouring, aroma

TUB

CMR in unburnt form, possible genotoxicity, possible effects on central nervous system

 

Menthol

Y

Flavouring

INU CF

Increases smoothness, May increase respiration through lungs

Natural/ botanical extracts

Fenugreek

Y

Flavouring

CF TAB INU

CMR after combustion, irritant, may affect central nervous system

Fig extract

Y

Flavouring

CF TAB INU

CMR after combustion, possible toxic and carcinogenic pyrolysis products

Prune juice (plum) extract

 

Flavouring

CF TAB INU

CMR after combustion, pyrolysis products are possibly toxic or addiction enhancing

Rum

 

Flavouring

CF TAB INU

CMR after combustion, possible toxicity

 

Phenyl acetic acid

 

Flavouring

TAB TUB

Potential respiratory irritant

 

Piperonal

 

Flavouring

TUB

Irritant to skin, eyes, respiratory tract, possible psycho-active effects

 

Propylene glycol

Y

Humectant

INU TAB

 

 

Sorbitol

Y

Humectant

INU TAB

 

 

Sugars

 

Flavouring (casing)

TAB

CMR after combustion (toxic and carcinogenic pyrolysis products), reduces harshness

 

Titanium dioxide

Y

Pigment

TUB

CMR : IARC group 2B possibly carcinogenic to humans, possible respiratory toxicant

 

Vanillin

 

Flavouring

CF TAB

Possible toxic combustion and pyrolysis products

Weak organic acids

Citric acid

 

Flavouring, reduces visible sidestream smoke

 

 

Potassium citrate

 

Modifies burn rate/puff number

 

Modifies burn rate/puff number, mild irritant

Acetic acid

 

 

 

Irritant

Butyric acid

 

 

 

 

Lactic acid

 

 

 

 

2-methyl butyric acid

 

 

 

 

Sorbic acid

 

 

TAB

 

Potassium sorbate

 

 

TUB TAB

Eye irritant

Source: Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks Final Opinion on Additives used in tobacco products (Opinion 1) Tobacco Additives I.34 Commission implementing decision (EU) 2016/787 of 18 May 2016 laying down a priority list of additives contained in cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco subject to enhanced reporting obligations35  

Notes: 

INU: increases inhalation or nicotine uptake (potentially increasing addictiveness),

CF: characterising or potentially characterising flavour,

TUB: toxic or potentially toxic in unburnt form,

TAB: toxic or potentially toxic after burning (irritant, toxic and/or CMR after burning), CMR: carcinogenic, mutagenic or reproductive toxicant

 

Many of the flavouring additives are non-toxic, but they turn into toxic substances after being modified during burning. For instance, heated sugars produce pyrolysis products that are known toxicants and/or carcinogens.15

Liqueur/confectionery cigarettes are produced by diffusing volatile flavour essences throughout the cigarette or by a flavour pellet embedded in the filter.36 As smoke is drawn through the filter, the casing of the pellet dissolves and the flavour essences are vaporised into the smoke.36 Development of soluble pellet technology may explain the sudden appearance of liqueur/confectionery brands around the world in the early 2000s. Liqueur/confectionery flavour additives are believed to be part of ‘youth-oriented’ products (see Section 5.13), and likely to facilitate initiation among youth by masking the harshness of tobacco smoke in comparison with a 'full-flavour' cigarette.37 The promotion and sale of fruit and confectionary flavoured cigarettes is now prohibited in all states and territories in Australia, see 10.8.4 for more details about flavoured cigarettes and tobacco in Australia.

Kreteks are cigarettes that originated in Indonesia, containing tobacco plus a significant amount of cloves (sun-dried flower buds of the clove tree). Kreteks also contain a ‘sauce’ that contributes to flavouring, with up to 100 ingredients.38 Information on the sauce ingredients is scarce, but it may include chemicals that give a chocolate, strawberry, liquorice and/or banana taste.39 Saccharin is added to the kretek wrapper to produce a sweet flavour.38 Eugenol (clove oil) is found in kreteks at up to 7% of the weight of the filler. Other chemicals from the cloves include eugenol acetate, caryophyllene, α-humulene, and methyl eugenol.11 The extent to which these contribute to the flavour of kreteks is poorly understood.

Bidis are hand-rolled, unfiltered cigarettes made in India and exported worldwide. They contain finely ground, sun dried tobacco rolled in a Tendu leaf (from the Tendu tree, native to India). Bidis are often high in added flavours, such as cherry, menthol, cinnamon, strawberry, vanilla, and raspberry.12

The tobacco used in waterpipes is usually highly flavoured and these flavours are a significant motivator for their use.40-42 Fruity flavours are common. Benzyl alcohol, limonene, linalool and eugenol (clove oil) have also been detected in waterpipe tobacco.43  

12.6.3.2 Reducing harshness and increasing smoothness

Reducing the harshness or increasing the smoothness of a product can improve the smoking experience, making it harder to quit and making young people more likely to take up smoking.1 ,33  

Harshness has been carefully defined and measured by the tobacco industry; it is ‘a chemically induced physical effect associated with a roughness, rawness experience generally localised in the mouth and to a lesser degree in the upper reaches of the throat and the trachea due to inhalation of tobacco smoke.’1 Nicotine, which is present in tobacco in substantial amounts, is one chemical that is responsible for the harshness of smoke.44 Lowering the amount of nicotine, particularly the ratio of nicotine to tar, can reduce the harshness of smoke. Propylene glycol has been found to reduce the delivery of nicotine whilst increasing tar levels, and may reduce harshness.1 ,45 Added sugars, such as sucrose, glucose and fructose increase the acids in smoke, potentially lowering the available nicotine (‘free nicotine’, see Section 12.4.3.1), thereby reducing the harshness of the smoke on the mouth and throat.1 ,15 ,46

An alternative approach is to increase the smoothness of smoke using additives that mask the harshness, without reducing delivery of nicotine. Chemicals that mask the harshness of smoke may do this by reducing the feeling of irritation felt in the mouth or throat when smoking.1 Menthol and thymol are such additives, due to their local anaesthetic effect, see Section 12.7.2. Levulinic acid and levulinates are additives that can mask the harshness of smoke whilst maintaining or increasing nicotine delivery.1 ,47 Glycyrrhizin (found in liquorice) and other additives that make the taste sweeter can also mask the harshness of smoke.1 ,48 Eugenol (clove oil), which comprises up to 7% of the weight of kreteks, has local anaesthetic properties and may act to increase smoothness of these Indonesian cigarettes.49

Humectants are chemicals that promote the retention of moisture in the tobacco (increase the humidity). Tobacco that becomes too dry has a harsh taste and feel, which can be improved with the addition of humectants.33 Humectants commonly added to tobacco products include glycerol, propylene glycol and sorbitol.1 By quantity per cigarette, humectants are one of the most common additives.

12.6.3.3 Improving the look and aroma of smoke

Many flavourings additives and added sugars produce appealing aromas when smoked. Improving the smell and appeal of the smoke may reduce the annoyance of the smoke to other people and therefore may improve the user experience of smoking.1 Acetylpyrazine, anethole and limonene are additives that reduce the smell of sidestream smoke. Chemicals added to the wrapper, including magnesium oxide, magnesium carbonate, sodium acetate, sodium citrate and calcium carbonate can reduce the visibility of smoke.50

12.6.3.4 Improving the look of tobacco products

Colouring agents such as pigments are added to tobacco products to modify their appearance.

Any colouring or other chemicals added to the cigarette paper forms part of the smoke that is inhaled as mainstream or sidestream smoke. These include chemicals that modify the burn rate, discussed in Section 12.6.4. Chemicals added to the filter may be inhaled, but those added to the tipping paper (around the filter) would not be.

In some countries, pigments are added to the cigarette paper or tipping paper to make cigarettes of varying colours,49 which can make them more appealing, particularly to younger users.51 Pigments are also used to print branding on the cigarette paper and tipping paper. Titanium dioxide is often added to the cigarette filter as a whitening agent.52

12.6.3.5 Creating the impression of health benefits

Additives in tobacco products have been used in some countries to create the impression, through brand naming, that these products have health benefits or reduced health hazards. Examples of these additives are vitamin C, vitamin E, fruit and vegetables extracts, amino acids such as cysteine and tryptophan, essential fatty acids such as omega-3 and omega-6,49 ,53 and charcoal in filters.54

12.6.4 Additives that modify the processing, shelf-life and burn rates of tobacco products

Processing aids facilitate the manufacture of tobacco products, such as by making cured tobacco less brittle. These include several ammonium compounds, carbon dioxide and ethyl alcohol. Ammonium compounds make reconstituted tobacco sheets more pliable.55

Combustion aids are used to control the smoking mechanics of cigarettes, such as by controlling the burning properties of cigarette paper. These can affect the rate at which burning occurs, and therefore the temperature. They include ammonium phosphate, sodium phosphate, sodium citrate and potassium citrate, which help to keep the cigarette lit.1 ,34 ,49

Fillers are chemically inert substances that are used to increase the bulk of the tobacco rod. Calcium carbonate is an example of a filler.49 ,50

Binders are used in reconstituted tobacco (made from stems and left over pieces of the tobacco plant) to make a paper-like material, that can be processed like normal tobacco lamina.56 Cellulose fibre, guar gum and phenylacetaldehyde may be used as binders.49

Preservatives increase the shelf-life of tobacco products. Benzoic acid and potassium sorbate are examples of preservatives in cigarettes.49

Anti-microbials may include chemicals that prevent the growth of bacteria, fungi (such as mildew), parasites and other microbes in tobacco during processing or storage. As an organic product, tobacco is susceptible to infestation with these microbes after harvesting, particularly bacteria and fungi.57 Menthol has some antibacterial and antifungal properties.58 Eucalyptol is an additive that may have antimicrobial properties.49 Note that fungicides used during the growing of tobacco may contaminate tobacco after harvesting and storage (but are not considered additives as such).

12.6.5 Toxicity of tobacco product additives

Some tobacco products additives are toxic, whilst others produce toxic products during combustion and pyrolysis when the tobacco is burned, see Section 12.4.2.1 and 12.4.2.2. Table 12.6.1 lists many tobacco additives that are toxic, or suspected to be toxic, in their unburned state (labelled TUB), or that produce toxic products after burning (labelled TAB). Titanium dioxide, diacetyl and guaiacol are examples of additives with known or suspected toxic activity in their unburned state. Three examples of chemicals with toxicity after burning are 1) sorbitol, which forms acetaldehyde and formaldehyde after pyrolysis, 2) glycerol, which forms acrolein, and 3) b-damascone, which forms benzene, toluene, anthracene and phenanthrene.34 The toxicity and carcinogenicity (cancer-causing activity) of chemicals such as formaldehyde, acrolein and benzene are discussed in detail in Section 12.4.3.

Many tobacco additives, particularly flavourings, are regarded as safe for consumption in food. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) designates food additives as GRAS: Generally Recognized As Safe, after assessment by experts.59 Tobacco additives such as guar gum, liquorice and diacetyl are designated GRAS.60 However, these three additives, as well as others that are designated GRAS, are considered potentially toxic additives in tobacco. This discrepancy comes about because food additives are not burned or inhaled into the lungs. It is during burning that many of the toxic chemicals in tobacco emissions are created. Chemicals that are eaten in foods are processed by the gastrointestinal system, including exposure to acid in the stomach. Select nutrients are taken up into the blood stream from the gut, after being processed by enzymes. However, in the lungs, chemicals from the smoke quickly enter the blood stream without the same processing that occurs in the gut. That a chemical is designated GRAS by the FDA for food consumption certainly does not mean that it is safe to breathe in the emissions of this chemical that are created in a burning cigarette.34

Many of the additives with known toxicity are also naturally present in tobacco product emissions. Examples are aldehydes produced by sugars when burned, as well as diacetyl (naturally present in tobacco plants) and ammonia in smoke, which are made from compounds naturally present in tobacco as well as added during processing.15 ,34 However, establishing whether these additives increase the harm to health from smoking is complex.

Toxicity of a chemical, such as a tobacco product additive, can be measured in a variety of ways, such as using cells grown in a laboratory, skin tests and other toxicity tests using rodents. Smoke inhalation experiments in rodents aim to emulate the exposure in humans.61 There is a lack of high-quality experimental data from testing of the toxicity of individual additives in cigarettes and other tobacco products. The reasons why these experiments are challenging are detailed in a 2017 review.62 Given that tobacco smoke is already a highly toxic mix of thousands of chemicals, and individual additives are often at low concentrations, any additional toxicity from an additive will likely be small in magnitude and difficult to detect. Very large numbers of samples or animals will be necessary to detect differences. Both unburned and burned products need to be tested, but the burned products of complex mixes such as natural extracts are mostly uncharacterised, making testing them difficult in animal experiments. Furthermore, many diseases caused by smoking, such as cancer, take a considerable length of time to become apparent, so short-term testing, such as rodent toxicity tests, are insufficient to examine the risks of these diseases. Such tests in animals for the chronic effects of toxicity are expensive, time-consuming and technically challenging. In addition, inhalation tests of individual additives would ideally require the use of tobacco products made with and without that additive, but that were otherwise identical—a task that is very difficult for independent researchers. The authors comment that ‘tobacco smoke is highly detrimental to health irrespective of whether burned tobacco contains additives or not. It is hard to justify killing a large number of animals merely to demonstrate that tobacco additives enhance, do not change or slightly attenuate the inherent toxicity of smoking.’62

Regardless of the lack of direct evidence that a specific additive leads to health effects, it is well-established that additives such as menthol and flavours increase the uptake of smoking and make it harder to quit–thereby increasing the exposure of people to the multitude of toxic chemicals in tobacco smoke that are the cause of countless diseases and millions of deaths.1 ,62

12.6.6 Priority additives for reporting in Europe

The European Commission mandated the independent Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR) to produce a priority list of tobacco additives in cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco. SCENIHR assessed the role of tobacco additives in the addictiveness, attractiveness and toxicity of tobacco products, publishing their scientific rationale in 2010,1 and assessment of a range of additives for inclusion on a priority list in 2016.34 SCENIHR identified and assessed 48 individual additives, listed in Table 12.6.1, for potential inclusion on a priority list, based on four inclusion criteria:34 ,63

A. Contributing to the toxicity or addictiveness of the products concerned/increasing the toxicity or addictiveness of any of the products concerned to a significant or measurable degree;

B. Resulting in a characterising flavour;

C. Facilitating inhalation or nicotine uptake;

D. Leading to the formation of substances that have CMR (carcinogenic, mutagenic or reproductive toxicant) properties/increasing the CMR properties in any of the products concerned (cigarettes/roll-your-own) to a significant or measurable degree.

A final priority list of 15 additives (Table 12.6.1, column 3) was determined on the basis of those additives in the group of 48 that were highest priorities and most commonly used among cigarettes and roll-your-own products.34 ,35 ,63 Member States of the European Union require manufacturers and importers of cigarettes and roll-your-own products to carry out comprehensive studies on the additives on this priority list.35

12.6.7 Additives in Australian cigarettes

Since the year 2000 there has been a voluntary agreement between the Commonwealth and the tobacco manufacturers for the disclosure of the ingredients in Australian cigarettes.64 There are composite disclosures of hundreds of ingredients that companies say they potentially use. There are also brand-by-brand disclosures that list the major ingredients in descending order by weight. However, the industry claims that it cannot disclose all of the additives used in particular brands because that would mean giving up trade secrets and losing competitive advantage. Thus, it is not possible for consumers to know all of the ingredients used in each brand or the levels at which they are added.

Table 12.6.2 lists the additives in Australian cigarettes that were voluntarily disclosed to the Australian Government in 2020 by BAT Australia, Philip Morris and Imperial, the three main companies supplying cigarettes in Australia. The tobacco companies refer to these as ‘ingredients’. These include additives in the tobacco filler (flavours, binders, casings and humectants) as well as other parts of the cigarette, such as the filter, paper wrap, adhesives and inks. See Sections 12.8.1 and 12.8.2 for descriptions of these parts of cigarettes.

Most of the additives listed in Table 12.6.2 are burned and their burned products become part of the emissions that are inhaled by smokers and people near them. Exceptions are the filter, tipping paper and inks used on these components. However, unburned chemicals from these components may still be inhaled. As most of the toxic chemicals in smoke are produced by the burning process (see Section 12.4) the toxic chemicals produced from the burning of these additives are not in the list of additives.

Table 12.6.2 Additives reported by Tobacco companies as used in the fillers of ready-made cigarettes sold in Australia in 2020

Chemical

Stated use

BATA

PM

ITA

2,4-Heptadienal

Flavour

 

0.0001

 

2-Heptanone

Flavour

 

0.0001

 

4-Methylacetophenone

Flavour

 

0.0001

 

6-Methyl-3,5-heptadien-2-one

Flavour

 

0.0001

 

6-Methyl-5-hepten-2-one

Flavour

 

0.0001

 

Acacia gum

Paper wrap

 

 

0.093

Acetanisole

Flavour

0.00001

0.005

 

Acetic acid

Flavour

0.00002

0.0005

 

Acetoin

Flavour

0.00004

0.0001

0.000087

Acetophenone

Flavour

 

0.0005

 

Acetyl pyrazine

Flavour

 

 

0.000013

Acetyl tri-butyl citrate

Filter paper/plugwrap papers

 

 

0.032

Filter paper and tipping paper ink

0.06935

0.1

0.031

Acid blue 9 aluminium lake

Sidestream adhesive

 

 

0.001

Acrylic resin

Filter paper and tipping paper ink

0.00411

 

 

Activated charcoal

Filter

 

3

 

Alkyd resin

Monogram and die print ink

0.00231

0.005

0.001

Alkyl ketene dimer

Tipping paper/filter adhesive

0.01013

 

 

Filter paper and tipping paper ink

0.00726

0.01

0.0089

Filter paper/plugwrap papers

 

0.005

 

Allura red AC

Monogram and die print ink

 

0.001

 

Allura red lake

Monogram and die print ink

0.00156

 

0.001

Alpha methyl styrene resin

Tipping paper/filter adhesive

0.09217

 

 

Aluminium hydroxide

Filter paper and tipping paper ink

0.06127

0.05

0.053

Aluminium silicate

Filter paper and tipping paper ink

0.27211

0.2

 

Aluminium sulphate

Filter paper and tipping paper ink

0.02667

 

 

Aluminosilicates, natural

Filter paper and tipping paper ink

0.57014

 

 

Angelica root oil

Flavour

0.00001

 

 

Anise star oil

Flavour

 

 

0.000027

Anisylol

Flavour

 

0.0005

 

Apple juice/concentrate

Flavour

0.01223

 

 

Apricot extract

Flavour

0.00212

 

 

Benzaldehyde

Flavour

0.00008

 

0.000013

Benzoin resinoid sumatra

Flavour

0.00002

0.0001

 

Benzyl benzoate

Flavour

0.00002

0.0001

 

Benzyl butyrate

Flavour

 

0.0001

 

Benzyl carbinol

Flavour

 

0.0001

 

Boric acid

Sidestream adhesive

 

0.005

 

Tipping paper/filter adhesive

 

0.005

 

Brilliant blue FCF

Filter

0.00135

 

 

Filter paper and tipping paper ink

 

0.005

 

Brilliant blue FCF aluminium lake

Monogram and die print ink

0.00079

0.001

 

Bronze powder

Filter paper and tipping paper ink

0.00781

 

 

Butric acid (n-)

Flavour

 

0.001

0.00001

Butyl butyrate

Flavour

 

0.0001

 

Butylated hydroxytoluene

Tipping paper/filter adhesive

 

 

0.00031

Calcium carbonate

Paper wrap

1.73244

3.5

1.5

Tipping paper/filter adhesive

1.06303

 

 

Filter paper and tipping paper ink

0.27211

1.1

0.64

Monogram and die print ink

0.00033

0.0005

0.001

Filter paper/plugwrap papers

 

0.9

0.39

Calcium chloride

Filter

0.00031

 

 

Caramel

Flavour

0.00017

 

0.0003

Filter

0.0102

 

 

Carbo medicinalis vegetabilis

Filter paper and tipping paper ink

 

0.05

 

Carbon, activated

Filter

4.10068

 

 

Carboxymethylcellulose

Paper wrap

 

0.05

 

Filter paper/plugwrap papers

 

0.05

 

Cardamom seed oil

Flavour

0.00001

 

 

Carob bean extract

Flavour

0.04303

 

0.0024

Carob bean and/or extract

Casing

 

0.1

 

Carrageenan

Filter

0.17006

 

 

Carvone

Flavour

 

 

0.0083

Caryophyllene (beta-)

Flavour

 

0.0001

 

Cassia bark oil

Flavour

0.00002

 

 

Cellulose

Paper wrap

 

4

3.3

Filter paper/plugwrap papers

 

6.6

 

Filter paper and tipping paper ink

 

2.9

2.3

Cellulose acetate

Filter

18.437

16.4

16

Cellulose fibre

Binder

0.71222

 

 

Paper wrap

3.78166

 

3.3

Tipping paper/filter adhesive

3.73577

 

 

Filter paper and tipping paper ink

3.0795

 

2.7

Filter paper/plugwrap papers

 

 

1.8

Chamomile flower, hungarian, oil

Flavour

 

0.0001

 

Chamomile flower, roman, extract & oil

Flavour

 

0.0001

 

Chlorite

Filter paper and tipping paper ink

 

0.01

0.0093

Cinnamaldehyde

Flavour

 

0.0001

 

Cinnamyl isovalerate

Flavour

 

0.0001

 

Citral

Flavour

 

0.0001

 

Citric acid

Flavour

0.00003

0.05

 

Citronellol

Flavour

 

0.0001

 

Clary sage oil

Flavour

0.0001

0.0001

 

Cocoa and cocoa products

Casing

 

0.2

 

Flavour

 

 

0.26

Cocoa extract

Flavour

0.03014

 

 

Cocoa powder

Flavour

0.50824

 

 

Coffee extract

Flavour

0.00098

 

 

Collodion

Filter paper and tipping paper ink

 

0.2

 

Colophony

Monogram and die print ink

 

 

0.001

Coriander seed oil

Flavour

 

0.0001

 

Corn syrup, high fructose

Flavour

0.00188

 

 

Damascenone (beta-)

Flavour

 

0.0001

 

Damascone (beta-)

Flavour

 

0.0001

0.00003

Decalactone (Delta-)

Flavour

0.00005

 

 

Decalactone (gamma-)

Flavour

 

0.0001

 

Decanal

Flavour

 

0.0001

 

Decanoic acid

Flavour

 

0.0001

 

Diarylide yellow

Filter paper and tipping paper ink

 

0.005

 

Di-Isononyl-cyclohexane -1,2-dicarboxylate

Filter paper and tipping paper ink

 

0.01

 

Dill oil

Flavour

 

0.0001

 

Dimethyldihydrofuranolone (2,5-)

Flavour

0.00001

 

 

Disodium hydrogen phosphate

Filter paper and tipping paper ink

 

 

0.043

Epichlorhydrin resin

Tipping paper/filter adhesive

0.04465

 

 

Epichlorhydrin

Filter paper/plugwrap papers

 

0.005

 

Erythrosine

Monogram and die print ink

0.00016

 

 

Erythrosin 180

Filter paper and tipping paper ink

 

0.001

 

Ethyl acetate

Flavour

 

0.005

 

Ethyl butyrate

Flavour

0.00416

0.05

 

Ethyl cellulose

Filter paper and tipping paper ink

 

0.01

 

Filter paper/plugwrap papers

 

 

0.2

Ethyl decanoate

Flavour

 

 

0.00001

Ethyl heptanoate

Flavour

0.00001

0.0001

 

Ethyl hexanoate

Flavour

 

0.0001

0.00001

Ethyl isovalerate

Flavour

0.0001

0.0001

 

Ethyl maltol

Flavour

 

0.0001

0.0012

Ethyl nonanoate

Flavour

 

0.0001

 

Ethyl oenanthate

Flavour

 

0.0001

 

Ethyl phenylacetate

Flavour

 

0.0001

0.00001

Ethyl propionate

Flavour

 

0.0005

 

Ethyl vanillin

Flavour

0.0006

0.05

 

Ethylene vinyl acetate copolymer

Tipping paper/filter adhesive

1.27637

2

0.61

Sidestream adhesive

0.2772

1.5

0.094

Eucalyptol

Filter

0.00432

 

 

Fatty acids, C16-18, calcium salts

Filter paper/plugwrap papers

 

 

0.000073

Fenugreek extract

Flavour

0.00527

 

 

Fenugreek oleoresin

Flavour

0.00073

 

 

Fig extract

Flavour

0.00408

 

 

Fluoropolymer acetate salt

Filter paper/plugwrap papers

 

0.05

 

Gelatin

Filter

 

0.2

 

Geraniol

Flavour

0.00001

0.0001

 

Geranium rose oil

Flavour

 

0.0001

 

Geranyl acetate

Flavour

 

0.0001

 

Geranyl butyrate

Flavour

 

0.0001

 

Geranyl formate

Flavour

 

0.0001

 

Glycerol

Humectant

2.71899

3.1

 

Filter

0.09901

0.05

 

Binder

 

 

0.025

Glyceryl triacetate

Filter

2.53053

 

1.7

Tipping paper/filter adhesive

0.1345

 

0.0017

Guar gum

Binder

 

0.9

 

Paper wrap

 

0.05

 

Filter paper/plugwrap papers

 

0.05

0.0086

Filter paper and tipping paper ink

 

0.2

 

Heptalactone (gamma-)

Flavour

 

0.0001

 

Hexalactone (gamma-)

Flavour

0.003

0.0005

 

Hexanoic acid

Flavour

 

0.0001

 

Hexen-2-al

Flavour

 

0.0001

 

Hexyl acetate

Flavour

 

0.0001

 

Hydrocarbon resin

Tipping paper/filter adhesive

 

 

0.02

Hydrocarbon waxes

Tipping paper/filter adhesive

 

 

0.071

Hydroxyethylene, homopolymer

Tipping paper/filter adhesive

0.11061

 

 

Filter paper and tipping paper ink

0.00731

 

 

Immortelle extract

Flavour

 

0.0001

 

Indigotine

Filter paper and tipping paper ink

 

0.001

 

Ionone (alpha-)

Flavour

 

0.0001

 

Ionone (beta-)

Flavour

0.00001

0.0001

0.000014

Iron oxide black

Monogram and die print ink

0.00253

 

 

Filter paper and tipping paper ink

0.01779

0.2

 

Iron oxide red

Filter paper and tipping paper ink

0.02872

0.05

 

Iron oxide yellow

Filter paper and tipping paper ink

0.2853

0.2

 

Iron oxides

Monogram and die print ink

 

 

0.001

Filter paper and tipping paper ink

 

 

0.17

Irone (alpha-)

Flavour

0.00001

 

 

Isoamyl acetate

Flavour

0.00052

0.0001

 

Isoamyl formate

Flavour

 

0.0001

 

Isoamyl isovalerate

Flavour

0.00012

0.0001

 

Isoamyl phenylacetate

Flavour

0.00002

0.0001

 

Isobutyraldehyde

Flavour

0.00001

 

 

Isobutyric acid

Flavour

 

0.0001

 

Isopropylcarbinol

Flavour

 

0.0005

 

Isopulegol

Flavour

 

0.001

 

Isovaleric acid

Flavour

0.00012

 

 

Jasmine, absolute

Flavour

 

0.0001

 

Kaolin

Filter paper and tipping paper ink

 

0.4

0.21

Kaolin, calcinated

Filter paper and tipping paper ink

 

 

0.33

Lauric acid

Flavour

 

0.0001

 

Lemon oil

Flavour

 

0.0001

 

Liquorice extract, fluid

Flavour

1.24731

 

 

Liquorice extract, powder

Flavour

0.59309

 

 

Liquorice extract

Casing

 

0.6

 

Flavour

 

 

0.061

Limonene (D-)

Filter

0.00281

 

 

Linalool

Flavour

 

0.001

 

Linseed oil

Monogram and die print ink

0.00045

 

0.001

Lovage extract

Flavour

0.00003

0.005

 

Maltitol

Filter

0.04936

 

 

Maltol

Flavour

0.00136

0.0001

0.000015

Mate absolute

Flavour

 

0.0005

 

Medium chain triglycerides

Filter

1.44803

 

 

Menthol

Flavour

1.2495

1.6

0.6

Menthol

Filter

0.91356

0.7

 

Menthone

Flavour

 

0.1

0.025

Menthyl acetate

Flavour

 

0.001

0.047

Menthyl isovalerate

Flavour

0.00002

 

 

Methoxy benzaldehyde (para-)

Flavour

0.00106

 

 

Methoxy-3-methyl pyrazine (2 Or 5 Or 6-)

Flavour

0.00001

 

 

Methyl anthranilate

Flavour

 

0.0001

 

Methyl butyraldehyde (3-)

Flavour

0.00001

 

 

Methyl butyric acid (2-)

Flavour

0.00001

 

0.00001

Methyl cyclopentenolone

Flavour

0.001

0.005

0.00001

Methyl linolenate

Flavour

 

0.0001

 

Methyl phenylacetate

Flavour

 

0.0001

 

Methyl quinoxaline (5-)

Flavour

0.00001

 

 

Methyl salicylate

Flavour

 

0.0001

 

Mica

Filter paper and tipping paper ink

0.02878

0.1

 

Mineral oil

Monogram and die print ink

 

0.0005

0.001

Mint oil

Flavour

 

 

0.12

Modified phenolic resin

Monogram and die print ink

0.00058

 

 

Molasses, sugar cane

Flavour

0.00022

 

 

Nitrocellulose

Filter paper and tipping paper ink

0.18329

 

0.07

Nonalactone (gamma-)

Flavour

0.00015

0.0001

0.00001

Nutmeg oil

Flavour

0.00021

 

 

Octalactone (gamma-)

Flavour

 

0.0001

0.000013

Octanoic acid

Flavour

 

0.0001

 

Opoponax oil

Flavour

 

0.0001

 

Orange 34 pigment

Filter paper and tipping paper ink

 

0.005

 

Orange oil, distilled

Flavour

 

0.001

 

Orange oil, sweet

Flavour

0.00007

0.0001

 

Orange oil, sweet, terpeneless

Flavour

0.00007

 

 

Orris root extract

Flavour

 

0.0005

 

Para-dimethoxybenzene

Flavour

 

0.0001

 

Para-methoxybenzaldehyde

Flavour

 

0.05

 

Parraffin

Filter paper and tipping paper ink

 

0.05

 

Paraffin wax

Tipping paper/filter adhesive

0.10278

0.1

 

Patchouly oil

Flavour

0.00001

 

 

Pentaerythritol

Monogram and die print ink

 

 

0.001

Peppermint oil

Flavour

0.0126

0.5

0.17

Filter

0.34704

 

 

Petitgrain oil

Flavour

 

0.0001

 

Phenethyl acetate

Flavour

0.00001

0.0005

 

Phenethyl alcohol

Flavour

   

0.00035

Phenethyl butyrate

Flavour

 

0.0001

 

Phenethyl isobutyrate

Flavour

 

0.0001

 

Phenylacetaldehyde

Flavour

 

0.0001

 

Phenyl acetic acid

Flavour

0.00001

0.0001

 

Phenylcarbinol

Flavour

0.00243

0.1

 

Pigment metal 1

Filter paper and tipping paper ink

0.00035

   

Pinene (alpha-)

Flavour

 

0.001

 

Piperonal

Flavour

0.00329

0.005

0.00013

Polycyclopentadiene resin, hydrogenated

Tipping paper/filter adhesive

0.08366

   

Polymer of vinyl acetate and hydroxyethylene

Tipping paper/filter adhesive

0.08558

   

Polyvinol

Sidestream adhesive

 

0.05

 

Tipping paper/filter adhesive

 

0.1

 

Filter paper/plugwrap papers

 

0.4

 

Polyvinyl acetate

Tipping paper/filter adhesive

0.88203

0.2

0.031

Sidestream adhesive

0.05264

 

0.028

Polyvinyl acetate/vinyl alcohol copolymer

Tipping paper/filter adhesive

   

0.41

Polyvinyl alcohol

Sidestream adhesive

   

0.00057

Tipping paper/filter adhesive

   

0.011

Filter paper/plugwrap papers

   

0.057

Polyamide resin

Filter paper and tipping paper ink

 

0.05

 

Potassium citrate

Paper wrap

0.07036

0.1

0.12

Potassium sorbate

Sidestream adhesive

0.00022

   

Propylcarbinol

Flavour

 

0.005

 

Propylene glycol

Humectant

1.3658

1.8

2

Propylidene phthalide (3-)

Flavour

0.00001

   

Prune extract

Flavour

0.00282

   

Prune juice/concentrate

Flavour

0.01899

   

Pyruvic acid

Flavour

 

0.0001

 

Quinoline yellow

Filter paper and tipping paper ink

 

0.05

 

Red lithol BK

Filter paper and tipping paper ink

 

0.005

 

Resin acids and rosina acids, modified

Filter paper and tipping paper ink

   

0.0065

Rhodinol

Flavour

 

0.0001

 

Rose oil, Bulgarian, true otto

Flavour

 

0.0001

 

Rose oil, red

Flavour

0.00001

   

Rosin

Filter paper and tipping paper ink

0.01511

0.01

0.0071

Sandalwood oil, yellow

Flavour

 

0.0001

 

Silica

Monogram and die print ink

 

0.0005

 

Filter paper and tipping paper ink

 

0.01

 

Silicon dioxide

Monogram and die print ink

0.00033

 

0.001

Filter paper and tipping paper ink

0.00002

   

Silver and/or gold bronze

Filter paper and tipping paper ink

 

0.05

 

Sodium alginate

Paper wrap

0.2338

   

Filter

0.02122

   

Sodium carboxymethyl cellulose

Filter paper/plugwrap papers

   

0.022

Tipping paper/filter adhesive

0.01117

   

Sodium citrate

Paper wrap

0.09937

0.1

 

Filter

 

0.01

 

Sodium ligninsulphonate

Filter paper and tipping paper ink

 

0.0001

 

Sodium magnesium aluminosilicate

Filter paper and tipping paper ink

   

0.22

Sodium phosphate dibasic

Filter paper and tipping paper ink

 

0.001

 

Sorbitol

Flavour

0.00111

   

Fliter

 

0.05

 

Soybean oil, polymer with isophthalic acid and pentaerythritol

Monogram and die print ink

0.00167

   

Spearmint oil

Flavour

 

0.05

 

Filter

0.0582

   

Starch

Filter paper and tipping paper ink

   

0.17

Starch and/or modified starches

Paper wrap

 

0.3

 

Filter paper/plugwrap papers

 

0.05

 

Filter paper and tipping paper ink

 

0.2

 

Starch, modified

Filter paper and tipping paper ink

0.17372

   

Starch, modified and polysaccharides

Filter

 

0.4

 

Starch, oxidised

Filter

0.13608

   

Filter paper and tipping paper ink

0.17372

 

0.17

Paper wrap

   

0.21

Starch, phosphate

Filter paper and tipping paper ink

0.03371

   

Storax

Flavour

 

0.0005

 

Styrax extract

Flavour

0.00001

   

Styrene-alpha-methylstyrene resin

Tipping paper/filter adhesive

 

0.05

0.072

Styrylcarbinol

Flavour

 

0.0001

 

Sucrose and/or sucrose syrup

Flavour

   

0.53

Sulphuric acid (and it's salts)

Filter paper and tipping paper ink

 

0.01

 

Sugar, cane, extract

Flavour

 

0.0001

 

Sugar, invert

Flavour

1.98951

 

0.95

Casing

 

2.3

 

Sugar, sucrose

Casing

 

3.1

 

Sugar, white

Flavour

0.00008

   

Subset yellow FCF

Filter paper and tipping paper ink

 

0.0005

 

Talc

Filter paper and tipping paper ink

0.16337

0.1

0.15

Tall oil rosin

Monogram and die print ink

   

0.001

Tartrazine

Filter

0.00029

   

Filter paper and tipping paper ink

 

0.01

 

Tetrakis methane

Tipping paper/filter adhesive

   

0.00024

Titanium dioxide

Filter

0.09882

0.1

0.083

Filter paper and tipping paper ink

1.20594

0.5

0.51

Triacetin

Sidestream adhesive

 

0.01

 

Filter

 

1.8

 

Tipping paper/filter adhesive

 

0.05

 

Triethyl citrate

Filter paper and tipping paper ink

 

0.01

 

Triglyceride oils

Filter

 

1.6

 

Undecalactone (gamma-)

Flavour

0.00001

0.0001

0.00001

Urea

Filter paper/plugwrap papers

   

0.000016

Valerolactone (gamma-)

Flavour

0.00001

   

Vanilla extract

Flavour

0.00038

0.0005

 

Vanillin

Flavour

0.00414

0.005

 

Veratraldehyde

Flavour

 

0.0005

 

Viscose

Filter paper/plugwrap papers

 

0.05

0.062

White mineral mil

Monogram and die print ink

0.00168

   

Yellow 180 pigment

Filter paper and tipping paper ink

 

0.005

 

Sources: British American Tobacco Australia. Australia Ingredients Report 1 March 2019 - 1 March 202065

Philip Morris Ltd. Australia ingredients report composite list of tobacco ingredients for reporting period March 1 2019 to March 1 2020.66

Philip Morris Ltd. Australia ingredients report composite list of non-tobacco ingredients for reporting period March 1 2019 to March 1 202067

Imperial Tobacco Australia Limited. Australia ingredients report for reporting period 2nd March 2019 to 1st March 202068

Notes: All ingredients listed as flavour, casing, binder or humectant are part of the filler, otherwise ingredients are part of non-tobacco materials; numbers are ‘quantity not exceeded’ i.e. an amount equal to or higher than the highest level of use in a single brand and expressed as a percentage of the total weight of the cigarette; BATA: British American Tobacco Australia Limited; PM; Philip Morris Ltd; ITA Imperial Tobacco Australia Ltd.

12.6.8 Perceptions of additives among the community

Most Australian understand that use of tobacco products is dangerous and causes disease such as cancer. But many do not have an accurate understanding of how these diseases are caused and the relative risks of damage from additives, nicotine, unburned and burned tobacco. 69

An Australian study in 2006 70 reported that respondents in focus groups were surprised to learn what the tobacco industry actually adds to cigarettes and why. Some respondents were sceptical that additives are ‘ordinary’ substances, such as chocolate and sugar, rather than frightening ones, such as ‘jet fuel.’ Some smokers seek out so-called ‘natural’ or ‘chemical free’ cigarettes; many roll-your-own smokers believe that roll-your-own tobacco is more ‘natural’ than factory-made cigarettes and does not contain additives, and is therefore less harmful. 71 , 72 However, roll-your-own tobacco contains similar additives as ready-made cigarettes and exposes users to the same toxins/carcinogens as ready-made cigarette smokers. 73 , 74

An Australian study from 2021 found that some people understood that the burning process produced most of the harmful chemicals from smoking (consistent with the evidence), most smokers or recent quitters believed that products with more additives would be more harmful (inconsistent with the evidence). 75 In a similar study, most Australians were unable to predict the relative risks of damage from burning tobacco (highest risk), unburned tobacco, additives and nicotine (lowest risk). 69

 

Relevant news and research

For recent news items and research on this topic, click  here. ( Last updated October 2021)

 

References 

1. Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR). Addictiveness and attractiveness of tobacco additives. Brussels, Belgium 2010. Available from: http://ec.europa.eu/health/scientific_committees/emerging/docs/scenihr_o_031.pdf.

2. New Zealand Ministry of Health. British American Tobacco New Zealand 2012 Annual Return. Wellington 2013. Available from: https://www.health.govt.nz/system/files/documents/pages/tobacco-returns-2012-british-american-tobacco-nz.pdf.

3. New Zealand Ministry of Health. British American Tobacco New Zealand 2017 Annual Return. Wellington 2018. Available from: https://www.health.govt.nz/system/files/documents/pages/batnz-cover-letter-return-2017.pdf.

4. Edwards R. Roll your own cigarettes are less natural and at least as harmful as factory rolled tobacco. BMJ, 2014; 348:f7616. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24519762

5. Smiley SL, Kim S, Mourali A, Allem JP, Unger JB, et al. Characterizing #Backwoods on Instagram: "The Number One Selling All Natural Cigar". Int J Environ Res Public Health, 2020; 17(12). Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32630567

6. Kurti MK, Schroth KRJ, and Delnevo C. A discarded cigar package survey in New York City: indicators of non-compliance with local flavoured tobacco restrictions. Tobacco Control, 2020; 29(5):585-7. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31462577

7. Erythropel HC, Kong G, deWinter TM, O'Malley SS, Jordt SE, et al. Presence of High-Intensity Sweeteners in Popular Cigarillos of Varying Flavor Profiles. JAMA, 2018; 320(13):1380-3. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30285168

8. Brown JE, Luo W, Isabelle LM, and Pankow JF. Candy flavorings in tobacco. The New England Journal of Medicine, 2014; 370(23):2250-2. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24805984

9. Kaur G, Muthumalage T, and Rahman I. Mechanisms of toxicity and biomarkers of flavoring and flavor enhancing chemicals in emerging tobacco and non-tobacco products. Toxicology letters, 2018; 288:143-55. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29481849

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