Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Measurement of Airborne Emissions from Extinguished Cigarettes: Final Report



Dustin G. Poppendieck


Three series of experiments were conducted in this study. First, studies were performed to the determine the relative distributions of the target chemicals in freshly smoked butts by analyzing six types of samples consisting of different parts of the butts, i.e. filter, tobacco and ash. Each sample was analyzed using headspace-thermal desorption (TD) gas-chromatograph- mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The goal of the headspace analysis was not to fully extract all chemicals remaining on the cigarette butt, rather to provide a consistent basis to compare chemical emissions into the air from the cigarette butts. Second, the butts were placed in a range of controlled conditioning environments for 2 h to 144 h to examine the influence of various factors on emissions: temperature, relative humidity, ultraviolet (UV) radiation, water saturation and air change rate. Butts were also conditioned outdoors in summer and winter seasons to understand butt emissions in real environments. After conditioning, each cigarette butt was also analyzed using headspace-TD-GC-MS. Lastly, a set of experiments was conducted to measure the chemical emission rates from cigarette butts in a walk-in chamber. Air samples were collected from the chamber up to 24 h after butts were placed in the walk-in chamber and were analyzed using TD-GC-MS.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 8256
Report Number
Created December 16, 2019