Reducing Levels of Toxic Chemicals in Cigarette Smoke: A New Healthy People 2010 Objective

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We developed and implemented a national surveillance system to monitor and reduce the levels of toxicchemicals in tobacco smoke. A developmental Healthy People 2010 (HP 2010) objective was revised to report on levels of three categories of chemicals--tobacco-specific nitrosamines, polyaromatic hydrocarbons, and volatile organic compounds--in the smoke of leading U.S. cigarette brands. Unit-based sales-weighted average levels were calculated for each chemical category. The target for the new HP 2010 objective is a 10% reduction in unit-based sales-weighted average levels of each chemical category. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provided the baseline, target data, and laboratory analyses. A national data source, national baseline data, and target were presented to the Healthy People Steering Committee during 2005 Midcourse Review. Approval of the revised objective initiated the surveillance of three major classes of toxic chemicals in cigarette smoke. The approved objective provides a feasible, innovative approach for monitoring and supporting measurable population-based reductions in levels of toxic and carcinogenic chemicals in tobacco smoke.


Originally published in Public Health Reports vol. 123 iss. 1 2008.

© 2008 Association of Schools of Public Health