Smokers awareness and risk perceptions of filter ventilation

Rosalie V. Caruso, Brian V. Fix, Marie J. Ingabire, Maansi Bansal-Travers, Vaughan W. Rees, K. Michael Cummings, Peter G. Shields, Dorothy K. Hatsukami, Richard J. O’connor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objectives: The addition of tiny rows of holes in the tipping paper (filter ventilation) of cigarettes allows air to mix with the smoke, which can change risk perceptions. In this study, we examine smokers’ knowledge and beliefs about filter ventilation. Methods: Web-based panel surveys conducted in 2016 and 2017 of current adult cigarette smokers (N = 2355) provided data on awareness and understanding of filter vents in their cigarettes, whether they believed blocking the holes would change the taste of their cigarettes, and their perceptions about their future risk of being diagnosed with lung cancer. The most commonly used cigarette brands reported by participants also were characterized on the presence and level of ventilation holes. Results: Approximately 40% of participants (mostly younger and male) reported awareness of the filter ventilation in their cigarettes. Only 30% of the participants were both aware of and understood the function of filter ventilation; they also were significantly more likely to worry about developing lung cancer. Conclusion: Although misleading descriptors associated with filter ventilation are prohibited, most smokers still smoked cigarettes with filter vents, and many are unaware and misunderstand the potential risks of filter ventilation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-223
Number of pages11
JournalTobacco Regulatory Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The National Cancer Institute (U19CA157345; P01CA217806) supported this work. The funding organization had no role in the design and conduct of the study, collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data, preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript, and or the decision to submit the manuscript for publication.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Tobacco Regulatory Science Group. All rights reserved.


  • Cigarette filter
  • Filter ventilation
  • Smoker perception of risk
  • Smoking behavior
  • Tobacco product characteristics


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