Since 1968 the University of Kentucky has provided reference cigarettes as the standard for non-clinical investigational purposes by tobacco manufacturers, contract and government laboratories, and academic institutions. The University of Kentucky Reference Cigarette Program (UKRCP) is committed to continue providing standards for tobacco product research and to work with the FDA to develop new products as necessary for regulation and analytical testing. The project will produce and characterize 50 million, high- quality reference cigarettes representative of an American blended cigarette that are manufactured in one manufacturing run with certified physical and chemical characteristics to allow for proficiency testing, instrument calibration, employee/student training, method validation and for investigational purposes. A process for the design, analysis and approval of prototype research cigarettes is included to ensure the new reference cigarette meets the specified goals. Quality control and sample testing parameters are defined and substantial chemical analyses will be conducted by the manufacturer and independent testing labs to allow for certification of product physical parameters and constituent levels. A center of excellence in tobacco product analysis and reference tobacco products will be established to collaborate and coordinate studies with stakeholders, including Tobacco Centers for Regulatory Science, product testing laboratories, tobacco product manufacturers and tobacco researchers. This proposal outlines significant improvements to the current UKRCP in terms of operational efficiency, planning for new reference cigarette products, establishing research capability and new services that will benefit the tobacco research community including establishing a proficiency testing program. A web-based interface will be developed to allow for secure transmission and storage of data for the proficiency program. As an academic institution our proposal to coordinate and administer inter-laboratory comparison studies on tobacco reference products and mechanisms to provide various tobacco reference products as a service to the entire tobacco research community is an improvement over current programs. The development of a high-quality reference cigarette and using this to help establish the center of excellence will strengthen the CTP's effort to develop the science of tobacco regulation and provide a much needed basic resource for tobacco product research and regulation.
Reference cigarettes are a necessary tool for measuring and reporting harmful and potentially harmful constituents in tobacco products as required under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. Fifty million well-characterized and consistent certified reference cigarettes will be produced to allow for a proficiency testing program, instrument calibration, employee/student training, method validation and for investigational purposes. The current University of Kentucky Reference Cigarette Program will establish a center of excellence for tobacco analysis and reference tobacco products to provide the foundation for establishing an accredited laboratory proficiency testing system, improved constituent analysis, storage, manufacture and distribution of tobacco reference products with significant proposed improvements and development in all of these areas.