aerosol or smoke, a heat source to warm tobacco and vaporize the liquid, and finally a system that condenses the vapor into an aerosol delivered to the user (R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, 1988).
The RJR monograph of this cigarette prototype details the “tar,” nicotine, and CO levels using a modified FTC rating. The rating is modified to a version that is not based on the butt length. The prototype ranked lower in tar and nicotine levels compared to all the traditional cigarettes to which it was compared: tar=6 mg per cigarette (nicotine-free dry particulate matter); nicotine=0.3 mg per cigarette; CO=12 mg per cigarette.
This prototype has developed into a new product Eclipse, which is being sold over-the-counter in Dallas, TX and other test markets and over the telephone and Internet. Eclipse has recently been marketed as “a better way to smoke. A Cigarette that responds to concerns about certain smoking-related illnesses. Including Cancer” (R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, 2000). The advertisements for Eclipse also address social acceptance because it produces no ash and substantially less visible environmental tobacco smoke (ETS).
Eclipse resembles an ordinary cigarette in shape and size just as Premier did. The carbon tip is ignited and heats the mixture of tobacco and glycerin before passing through a charcoal filter. The heating unit consists of a carbon fuel element surrounded by a fiberglass insulator. Glycerin contributes to 50–60% of the composition of the light reconstituted tobacco filling of the product. Research has shown that the glycerin has been treated to prevent it from sweating out of the tobacco blend, yet little else is known regarding what additives have been used or how else the tobacco may have been treated. Eclipse is different from Premier in that it does not have flavor beads or an aluminum cylinder or the alumna beads (Ferrence et al., 2000; Slade, 1996). These changes are likely to enhance the smoke aerosol so that it more closely resembles that of traditional cigarette products. Tests conducted under FTC-like conditions resulted in 3.2 mg tar, 0.18 mg nicotine, and 7.5 mg CO (R.J. Reynolds Eclipse web site, 2000).
In a study conducted by Fagerström et al. (2000) measuring nicotine and CO exposure using Eclipse, nicotine oral inhaler, and traditional cigarettes, it was discovered that there is little difference in nicotine blood concentrations in subjects smoking only Eclipse or their usual brand of cigarettes. Eclipse, however, did produce increased carbon monoxide levels. A recent study commissioned by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health compared Eclipse to two conventional low-yield products. Eclipse produced higher yields of tar and CO than the comparison products. Under more intensive conditions, the Eclipse yields of nicotine were also higher than comparison products, as were specific toxicants, BaP, acroline, and nicotine-derived nitroketone (NNK) (Labstat, 2000). A sci-