Objectives - Tobacco products are manufactured from tobacco leaves and additives are used to, for example retain moisture and improve flavor. To identify differences between tobacco products and possible effects on toxicity, addictiveness, and attractiveness, it is important to monitor additive use. This is the first study that analyzes the use of additives in tobacco products in a qualitative and quantitative way.
Methods - Ingredient lists submitted by manufacturers to the Electronic Model Tobacco Control (EMTOC) in the Netherlands in 2015 were analyzed.
Results - Of the 4530 products registered, about 80% were cigars, 8% were cigarettes, 5% were roll-your-own (RYO) products, and 5% were pipe tobacco products. Overall, 693 unique additives were identified, of which 640 were flavorings. Although product composition showed large variation within and between product categories, the frequency and quantity of (flavoring) additives used is characteristic for the category of tobacco products. Furthermore, 'regular' cigarettes and RYO products contain many flavoring additives, albeit in lower quantities than in flavor-marketed products.
Conclusions - Information on additive use can reveal differences within and between product categories. Comparing such data over multiple years can be useful for identifying trends in product composition, as well as for providing insights concerning product regulation policies.