Cigarette Descriptors and Design

Labels with descriptors, such as “light,” “low,” or “mild” can no longer be used.3

In the past, the tobacco industry categorized low yield cigarettes using measurements of tar on standardized smoking machines.1

  • Cigarette brands that yielded approximately 1 6 milligrams (mg) of tar were historically called “ultra light.”
  • Those with approximately 6 15 mg of tar were called “light.”
  • Brands yielding more than 15 mg of tar were called “regular” or “full flavor.”

The following cigarette design changes made over the past decades affected the tar and nicotine measurements 1,2,4

  • Addition of different size and density filters
  • Ventilation holes in the cigarettes to bring in air and dilute the smoke measured
  • Chemical additives in the paper and/or tobacco
  • Tobacco (i.e., using different types, blends, and curing methods)

Changes in cigarette design have not made cigarettes safe.1,5

  • No strong scientific evidence exists indicating that changes in cigarette design have resulted in a decrease in the diseases caused by smoking cigarettes.

Compensatory Smoking

Most smokers are addicted to nicotine and consequently may compensate when smoking low yield cigarettes in order to take in more nicotine than estimated by a smoking machine.1,5,6,7

  • Many smokers block the ventilation holes, thus inhaling more tar and nicotine than measured by machines.
  • Many smokers inhale longer, harder, and more frequently when smoking low yield cigarettes to get more nicotine.
  • Smokers may get as much or more tar and nicotine from cigarettes with low yield ratings as from regular cigarettes because of the ways they compensate when smoking them.

Smokers Who Use Low Yield Cigarettes

  • Many smokers consider smoking low yield cigarettes, menthol cigarettes, or additive free cigarettes to be safer than smoking regular cigarettes, even though no strong scientific evidence exists to substantiate these beliefs.1,2,5
  • Many smokers may have switched to low yield brands instead of quitting smokers may be misled by the implied promise of reduced toxicity underlying the marketing of such brands.1,5,6
  • Information on sales of U.S. cigarettes indicates that there were decreases in tar and nicotine from 38 mg of tar and 2.7 mg of nicotine in 1954 to 12 mg of tar and 0.95 mg of nicotine in 1993. Tar and nicotine levels have remained stable since then.4

Health Risks of Smoking

  • The evidence indicates that changing cigarette designs over the last five decades, including filtered, low tar, and “light” variations, have not reduced overall disease risk among smokers and may have hindered prevention and cessation efforts.4
  • There is insufficient evidence to determine whether novel tobacco products reduce individual and population health risks.4
  • The overall health of the public could be harmed if the introduction of novel tobacco products encourages tobacco use among people who would otherwise be unlikely to use a tobacco product or delays cessation among people who would otherwise quit using tobacco altogether.4


  1. National Cancer Institute. Risks Associated with Smoking Cigarettes with Low Machine Measured Yields of Tar and Nicotine. Smoking and Tobacco Control Monograph 13. Bethesda U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, 2001 accessed 2013 June 11 .
  2. Institute of Medicine. Clearing the Smoke Assessing the Science Base for Tobacco Harm Prevention. Washington National Academy Press, 2001 accessed 2013 June 11 .
  3. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Guidance for Industry and FDA Staff Use of “Light,” “Mild,” “Low,” or Similar Descriptors in the Label, Labeling, or Advertising of Tobacco Products. Rockville (MD) U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Center for Tobacco Products, 2010 accessed 2013 June 11 .
  4. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease The Biology and Behavioral Basis for Smoking Attributable Disease. A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2010 accessed 2013 June 11 .
  5. Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids. Light and Low Tar Fact Sheets.
    PDF 180.59 KB Washington Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, 2010 accessed 2013 June 11 .
  6. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Reducing Tobacco Use A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, CDC, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2000 accessed 2013 June 11 .
  7. Public Health Law Center. Light/Low Yield Cigarettes. St. Paul (MN) Public Health Law Center, 2010 accessed 2013 June 11 .

For Further Information

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Office on Smoking and Health
E mail tobaccoinfo
Phone 1 800 CDC INFO

Media Inquiries Contact CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health press line at 770 488 5493.

E cigarette reviews 2014

Ukraine’s ‘lost’ cigarettes flood europe

We’ve reviewed a TON of e cigarette brands and e tailers, and a couple of them stand out for us.

If you are looking for a more advanced vaping device, check out VaporZone. These guys have a sick selection of eGo style and variable voltage batteries, and and incredible selection of e juice, with way over 20,000 possible flavor mixes with their customizable blends.

They also have what are called cigalikes, which are about the size of real tobacco cigarettes. They basically have something for everyone at all levels.

Visit them at and if you want to save cash on your purchase, use our VaporZone discount here.

Our number one pick of all standard sized e cigs is V2 Cigs as we love their flavors.

First and foremost we love their flavors, especially their red flavor for you Marlboro smokers. They have a nice flavor selection (not too many), and we enjoy most all of their flavors, including menthol, chocolate, coffee and things like their special or seasonal flavors such as pumpkin spice or cola.

This the the brand we highly recommend, especially for someone new to or just considering electronic cigarettes, as they are our pick to the closest to the real thing. And for anyone looking to try another brand, check ’em out. They have some awesome extras, such as e liquid to refill your own cartridges, mini tanks, and the EX batteries are perfect if you want a more powerful battery.

Official Website

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You can’t go wrong with either of these two companies.


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South Beach Smoke has announced their new Air, as well as the addition of custom blend e liquids

Here’s a bit more about aspects of e cigs we review


Are e cigs green? Do they light up when you smoke?

First of all, e cigs are all greener than regular cigarettes. If one firm advertises its environmental friendliness as though it is greener than the rest, test that suggestion by reading more about it. Unless they have invented biodegradable batteries, the most they can offer is a recycling program, although that is a step in the right direction.

Generally speaking, e smoking is better for the environment. Scientists cannot tabulate the effects on nature of butts being dropped on the ground, at least not with certainty.

They can say that e cigs are also more pleasant in the environment, with no smells or ash. In fact, e cigs are not classified the same as traditional cigarettes and can be used in some places where smoking is banned, at least for now, as regulators are clamping down on it.

The grey, lethal looking cloud created by smoking a burning ember is absent. Nothing burns in an e cig nicotine is heated. This is true of all e cigs by definition.


Certain companies market their products to men. They offer a few color choices, but they either make a cig look like an old fashioned rollup or are they lack vibrancy. Older smokers who dislike the idea of a lime green product might choose these.

Other cigs are designed for women and some are marketed towards men. Shades include varieties of purple, pink, blue, and green.


One of the biggest issues you have after flavor when switching is battery power. If an electronic product cannot keep its charge long enough or the battery only gives 100 puffs, that could be a bit of maintenance.

Battery power is affected by size. If you want a sleek looking mini e cig with a slim profile, you get less power. It is still decent, but you should expect to use it less or charge it more. Bigger batteries obviously have more juice in them and go on longer.

Most kits come with different battery sizes, and some companies, such as Halo Cigs, carry a substantially larger battery that has a much longer life.

Starter Kits

Just about every company creates a starter kit. This is a selection of everything you need to get started. If she were to buy each piece separately, the consumer would pay more than if she bought them as a package. Every company makes this different in some way. Certain ones simplify the issue by creating two versions of the same package. Others add one or two items to sweeten the deal on increasingly bigger, more expensive kits.

A number of firms such as V2 and South Beach offer the option of a Power Cig as a taste testing idea. Try this, with its USB connection, and find out what it feels like to smoke vapor instead of tobacco smoke. If you like the way it feels and are impressed by the company, buy the basic starter kit which does not include a Power Cig.

Kits usually come with a number of flavor cartridges, a USB adaptor, wall charger, and one or two batteries.

Flavors and Nicotine

You know there is power in their battery. Colors suit your personality. Now you have to try a brand’s flavors to be sure this is the right product.

This is for most people the most important factor, and it typically trumps the price, just like with analogues where most people will splurge for Newports or Marlboros over something close that is cheaper.

Each manufacturer carries at least two, possibly as many as four types of tobacco. Versions like Turkish Tobacco are common, and there is often one to simulate the flavor of unfiltered cigarettes. Menthol is also a typical option.

Gourmet flavors are usually part of the menu too. They sound like assorted candies cherry, peach, pina colada, passion fruit, and grape. Coffee, mocha, mint chocolate, and vanilla are a few others. If you like menthol but want a change, try mint tea or peppermint.

You probably smoke mostly for the nicotine, and this is an ingredient inside of the cartridges to refill your e cigs. Choose from a low dose to 2.4%, or even 4.5% in the case of NJOY, or try to wean from nicotine with 0% if you want to cut back.

Read customer impressions of vapor strength. Some products are consistent, while there is a tapering effect from others.

Modded E Cigs

E cig mods are a pretty vast category that is growing like crazy, and is left a bit open for interpretation. Pictured to the right is something that looks like it could come out of NASA, but it is an upgraded battery, and the battery features a variable voltage option.

On top of that is a tank system, which is about the top third of it, where you can see some e cig juice and a black mouth piece up top.

A modded cig like this serves the same function as a standard sized e cig, just with much more horsepower and battery longevity.

There are different sized tanks, and other upgraded batteries, many of them are known as an eGo style battery.

A combination of a tank and an upgraded battery is typically the next big step for anyone looking to get a modded, more powerful cig that lasts longer, and as a nice gateway to the world of mods, which is a lifestyle and hobby for lots of vapers out there.