The temperatures produced when tobacco was burned in pipe, cigarette, and cigar smoking have been measured by a calibrated thermocouple.
Temperature of the combustion zone in a pipe was about 500° C. (variability, 380°–620° C.). The maximal temperature was thus relatively low, but the heat spread over an extensive area outside the actual glow. Because of this, strong dry distillation took place, and the corresponding fractions from the evaporating substances escaped into the smoke without being pyrolyzed. With a cigarette, the situation was found to be quite different. The temperature was high, averaging 650° C. (variability, 470°–812° C.), but over a very limited area. The amount of dry distillation was slight, and the low and middle fractions were burned more completely. No essential differences could be noted among the different brands of cigarette studied.
This investigation was supported by a research grant from the Damon Runyon Memorial Fund and from the Foundation of President J. K. Paasikivi.