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Interlaboratory Study of Alternate Filter Papers for Use in ASTM E 2187



Richard G. Gann, William F. Guthrie


ASTM E 2187 has become the internationally referenced standard for designing and specifying less fire-prone cigarettes. In this test method, a lit cigarette is laid on multiple layers of filter paper, and the observer identifies whether the cigarette burns its full length or not. For decades, a specific type of filter paper has been used as the test substrate, with specified values of mass and moisture uptake used to define acceptable material. There is interest in the availability of alternate makes of filter paper, and an interlaboratory study (ILS) of three of these was performed to identify the potential for any of these to provide test results (a) indistinguishable from the currently specified filter paper and (b) with no degradation of repeatability. Each of the three alternate filter paper types demonstrated test result repeatability similar to that obtained using the current paper. One of the three alternate papers also showed indistinguishable test results for all test cigarettes. However, significant additional testing would be needed if there is to be high confidence that testing a variety of cigarettes using any of the three alternate filter paper types would consistently yield test data indistinguishable from the data obtained using the currently specified paper. In addition, the ILS confirmed test result sensitivity to the upward facing surface of the papers, and it is recommended that the standard test method be modified so that future tests will be performed with the choice of upward facing paper surface prescribed.
Technical Note (NIST TN) - 1649
Report Number


ASTM E 2187, cigarette, filter paper, fire, fire safety, less fire-prone cigarettes


Gann, R. and Guthrie, W. (2009), Interlaboratory Study of Alternate Filter Papers for Use in ASTM E 2187, Technical Note (NIST TN), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed April 23, 2024)
Created December 11, 2009, Updated February 19, 2017