How hot is the cherry on a cigarette?

It varies, when a smoker draws on a lit cigarette, the temperature of the cigarette coal rises rapidly from its resting (smouldering) temperature of around 600 °C (1112 °F), while the peak puff temperatures at the outer edge of the coal can exceed 900 °C (1652 °F) during a 35 mL, 2-sec puff.

The high temperature inside the coal causes an increase in the stickiness of the air flowing through and a concomitant increase in the resistance to the draw of air through the coal. This effect forces air to be drawn mainly into the periphery of the coal around the paper burn line, which causes more complete combustion in this peripheral region.

A burning cigarette is a compound system in which many forms of chemical reactions and physical processes occur. There are two main areas inside the burning zone: a combustion zone and a pyrolysis/distillation zone. At the combustion zone, oxygen reacts with carbonized tobacco creating simple gases such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and hydrogen, along with the heat that sustains burning. Immediately downstream of the burning zone is the cooler pyrolysis/distillation zone, where the bulk of the 5000 or so chemicals in smoke are created.

Just recently, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 1.6 million Americans tried to quit and at least 100,000 likely succeeded as a result of graphic ads that showed how real ex-smokers had suffered paralysis, stroke, lung removal, heart attacks and limb amputations. Find out more at USA Today.

Cigarette smoking

Updated on Friday, September 13 2013 at 11:52AM EDT

Related Questions