Korean Government Releases Testing Methods for Harmful Cigarette Ingredients

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South Korea’s Food and Drug Safety Ministry has announced testing methods for 44 harmful substances in cigarettes.

According to a report by the Yonhap News Agency on December 28, the South Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS), headed by Oh Yoo-kyung, has announced 15 testing methods that can be used to analyze the 44 harmful substances found in cigarettes. These methods are necessary to validate the reliability of the test results.

These 44 constituents, designated by the World Health Organization and the Canadian Department of Health, include nicotine, tar, five types of volatile organic compounds, three types of medium-volatile organic compounds, six heavy metals, mercury, hydrogen cyanide, eight carbonyl compounds, four tobacco-specific nitrosamines, ammonia, four aromatic amides, benzo[a]pyrene, nitrogen oxide, six phenolic compounds, and carbon monoxide.

According to the regulations of the Food and Drug Administration, starting from November 2025, tobacco manufacturing, import, and sales companies are required to conduct biennial testing of harmful ingredients in cigarette products. They must also report the test results and information on tobacco additives to the Department of Food and Drug Safety. Additionally, companies are required to notify the Department of Food and Drug Safety about the inspection reports and information on raw materials and additives in tobacco. E-cigarettes have also been included as a target for the public disclosure of harmful ingredients.

The Food and Drug Safety Ministry states that this research report will contribute to the disclosure of the harmful components of tobacco, highlighting the detrimental elements in cigarettes, in order to raise public awareness about health risks. The ministry also plans to continue developing methods for tobacco analysis to ensure the smooth implementation of tobacco harm management laws.

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