RIVM Found Cigarettes Emit Far More Toxicants Than Previously Thought

    RIVM Found Cigarettes Emit Far More Toxicants Than Previously Thought

    A new study by the Dutch Public Health Council RIVM found that cigarettes emit far more toxicants than previously thought. Up to 26 times more tar and nicotine than indicated on their packaging.

    RIVM’s New Test Method and Results

    RIVM tested 100 different brands of cigarettes found on the Dutch market for tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide using the Canadian Intense method. This method, says RIVM, gives a more accurate description of what smokers actually inhale than the current ISO European system.

    The worst was Marlboro Prime. They had 26 times the tar and 17 times the nicotine on the label. Kent HD White was next on the list, followed by 
Peter Stuyvesant Silver. RIVM said all measured TNCO levels exceed the legal limits with the exception of one cigarette.

    RIVM Found Cigarettes Emit Far More Toxicants Than Previously ThoughtCigarette smoke was tested in the laboratory for tar and nicotine. But the results were distorted because of the use of tiny holes in the filters. When people smoke, these are closed up by the mouth and fingers but left open during the test. The Canadian method is to cover the holes with a tap. This way gives a more accurate picture of what smokers ingest. RIVM said the new study confirms that the holes in the filters distort the results.


    RIVM said, ‘The results of this study support the conclusion that the prescribed ISO method underestimates the amount of tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide that smokers consume.’

    ‘The committee drafting this method was heavily influenced by the tobacco industry. RIVM recommends that independent measurement methods should be included in the law, rather than the ISO method.’


    ‘We thought the results would be bad. I am really shocked by how bad.’ Health minister Paul Blokhuis said after the report was released. His predecessor had commissioned the results following the dispute over testing methods.

    The minister said it was worrying that smokers are taking in twice to 26 times more poison than they were told.

    RIVM Found Cigarettes Emit Far More Toxicants Than Previously ThoughtBlokhuis is calling on the European Union to adopt a different approach of measuring the contents of cigarettes, saying the current approach was designed by a commission heavily influenced by the tobacco lobby.

    Court Case

    The Dutch public prosecution department said it would not proceed with a criminal case. The case is against the big tobacco companies based in the Netherlands. Accused of damaging public health and forgery deliberately. Because of the way of measuring tar and nicotine.

    The 2016 case by Anne Marie van Veen who was a lung cancer patient. And Bénédicte Ficq a lawyer. They say tobacco companies lied to smokers about the damaging side effects of smoking. Especially by using cigarettes that give false readings in test results. Through the use of the tiny ventilation holes in filters. Ficq is appealing against the decision not to prosecute.


    Ryan is a writer, editor and content creator who spends most of his time bringing the interesting, entertaining, original and well-written articles to vapers. He believes that vaping is not only a healthier alternative to smoking, but also a great experience of life.