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What do the lower tar and nicotine numbers on cigarette packs mean?

Lower tar and nicotine numbers refer to:

These numbers come from smoking machines, which "smoke" every brand of cigarettes exactly the same way. These numbers do not really tell how much tar and nicotine a particular smoker may get because people do not smoke cigarettes the same way the machines do. And no two people smoke the same way.

This answer is based on source information from the National Cancer Institute.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.