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Technical Advisory Group (TAG)

  • Last modified date:
    23 April 2009

One of the commitments in the Health of the Nation White Paper and taken up in SCOTH's terms of reference was " to review existing controls on additives and the emission of toxic substances from cigarettes and to provide advice on controls". It was considered additional technical expertise would be needed to carry out this work and a technical advisory group was therefore established.

Terms of reference

The Technical Advisory Group is appointed to provide advice to the Chief Medical Officers of the United Kingdom, through the Scientific Committee on Tobacco and Health, on technical aspects relating to tobacco products and their effects on health, in particular:

  • to review information on the composition of tobacco products and tobacco smoke and to consider proposals for further analytical work;
  • to follow findings from the routine monitoring on smoke components and to advise on any changes in procedure that may be required;
  • to review existing controls on additives and the emission of toxic substances from cigarettes and provide advice on controls;
  • to study information on innovative tobacco products and possible impacts on health effects. to review how aspects of tobacco product design impact on smoker behaviour

Report of the Scientific Committee on Tobacco and Health

Permitted additives to tobacco products

The list consists of additives to cigarettes, cigarette papers*, roll-your-own (RYO) tobaccos, cigars and pipe tobacco, permitted for use in tobacco products marketed in the United Kingdom.

The list includes additives recorded in Appendix VII of the Second Report of the Independent Scientific Committee on Smoking and Health [1], Appendix 1 of the Committee's Fourth Report [2] and in the Department of Health list of Permitted Additives to Tobacco Products in the United Kingdom [3, 4] together with any additional permitted but previously unpublished additives arising from the Voluntary Agreement on Additives to Tobacco Products [5]. These may be applied either at a stage in the manufacture of, or directly to, the final tobacco blend or paper.

Certain additives are permitted only for use in the course of manufacture of tobacco sheet or cigarette paper (as specified), providing that no free residue remains.
* Paper is defined as sheet manufactured from cellulose derived from wood, flax, hemp, jute, esparto, ramie and other vegetable fibres.

Additives are listed alphabetically under their more commonly used names, with some alternatives in the adjoining column. Percentage inclusion limits are calculated on a dry weight tobacco basis, except for cigarettes where the weight of cigarette paper and associated adhesive are included. Maximum aggregate limits for permitted additives are designated below, depending upon whether they are assigned the label List 1 or List 2.

List 1 An aggregate limit of 15% for cigarettes, RYO or cigars, and 30% for pipe tobacco applied to all permitted additives in this category.

List 2 An aggregate limit of 0.15% for cigarettes, RYO or cigars, and 0.5% for pipe tobacco applies to all permitted additives in this category.

(For ease of reference the two lists are combined into one, with an indication of the appropriate list after each named additive - 1 or 2, referring to lists 1 and 2 respectively.) The term quantum satis is used in the case of solvents for the application of additives or tobacco processing agents which may be used in sufficient quantities to perform their function, but leave negligible residues. Inclusion limits for new entries and adhesives to cigarette paper sideseams and to cigar seams, arising from the Voluntary Agreement5, have been rounded with any below 0.0001% being quoted at that level and others above 0.0001% being rounded up to the nearest 0.001% or 0.01% as appropriate. Where an additive has not been considered for use in any particular product, this is denoted by '-' under the appropriate heading.

References

1. Independent Scientific Committee on Smoking and Health. Second Report, London: HM Stationery Office, 1979.
2. Independent Scientific Committee on Smoking and Health. Fourth Report, London: HM Stationery Office, 1988.
3. Permitted Additives to Tobacco Products in the United Kingdom. Department of Health, London. January 1995.
4. Permitted Additives to Tobacco Products in the United Kingdom. Department of Health, London. September 1998
5. Voluntary Agreement on the Approval and Use of Additives in Tobacco Products in the UK. March, 1997.

Reports of research commissioned from LGC (Teddington) Ltd and Arista Laboratories Europe

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