Cigarette smoke contains approximately 4,000 chemicals, including more than 60 carcinogens (Hoffmann & Hoffmann, 2004). Communicating this information to consumers in a meaningful way has proven to be a significant challenge. selleck Currently, a number of jurisdictions require tar, nicotine, and carbon monoxide emissions to be printed on packages. These numbers are derived from smoking machines (using either the ISO or the Federal Trade Commission smoking regimens) and represent neither the amount of chemicals present in the tobacco itself nor the amounts actually ingested by human smokers. The current scientific consensus is that emission numbers do not accurately reflect meaningful differences in risk between conventional cigarette brands (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2001; WHO Study Group on Tobacco Product Regulation, 2004).
However, when these numbers are communicated to consumers via packaging, many consumers interpret lower tar and nicotine numbers as a reduction in exposure and risk (Chapman, Wilson, & Wakefield, 1986; Cohen, 1996; Devlin, Eadie, & Angus, 2003; Gori, 1990; Health Canada, 2003b; O��Connor, Kozlowski, Borland, Hammond, & McNeill, 2006; Pollay & Dewhirst, 2001). Indeed, recent studies suggest that smokers even in the most affluent and educated countries continue to hold false beliefs about emission numbers (Bansal-Travers, Hammond, Smith, & Cummings, 2011; Hammond & Parkinson, 2009). Alternative approaches to communicating the basic ISO tar and nicotine amounts, such as adding a set of higher numbers from more intensive smoking regimens, have proven equally misleading and confusing to consumers (Health Canada, 2003b).
Based on the scientific consensus that tar and other emission numbers are misleading, the Elaborated Guidelines for Article 11 recommend that ��Parties should prohibit the display of figures for emission yields, such as tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide, on packaging and labeling, including when used as part of a brand name or trademark�� (WHO, 2008). A growing number of countries have removed emission information from packages and replaced it with Anacetrapib descriptive information about toxic constituents and their effects on health, most recently Canada (Health Canada, 2010). Preliminary research suggests that this information is more meaningful to consumers and less likely to result in misperceptions about the relative risk of different cigarette brands (Health Canada, 2003a). Research commissioned by Health Canada also suggests that messages on specific toxic constituents with an explanation of their health effect were rated as most effective (Health Canada, 2007). Research opportunities.