Tar and nicotine are measured using our SM-400 smoking machines
In Malaysia, the maximum permitted levels of tar and nicotine are 20mg and 1.5mg respectively for each stick of cigarette. We measure tar and nicotine using our SM-400 smoking machines which are ISO 3308 compliant as well as the gas-chromatographic machine using methods approved under ISO 10315 and ISO 10362-1, but what is tar and nicotine?
What is 'tar'?
Contrary to popular belief, it is not what the roads are made of. Tar stands for Total Aerosol Residue. Cigarette smoke contains tiny particles, which can be collected on a filter pad in a laboratory. Tar is usually defined as the particulate matter collected in this way, after water and nicotine are extracted. They vary with the tobacco blend and with the cigarette design, which can, for example, include tiny air holes to reduce the amount of smoke. Certain components in tar have been identified as related to some of the serious health risks from smoking such as cancer.
What is nicotine?
Nicotine occurs naturally in the tobacco plant and is a constituent of tobacco smoke. It can also be found in other plants, but at much lower levels than in tobacco. Nicotine has mild pharmacological properties; it is thought to have a mild stimulant effect, similar to that of caffeine, and to contribute to the reduction in stress reported by many smokers. Many public health authorities believe nicotine is responsible for promoting and maintaining an addiction to smoking through its effects on the central nervous system. However, the science suggests that, while important, nicotine is not the only reason for smoking.