I WAS surprised to read the coverage ("Tobacco firms 'telling lies' on low-tar safety", 1 April) of the ASH and Imperial Cancer Research Fund report on low-tar cigarettes.
The testing used to produce the numbers on cigarette packs is from an international standard method. It is a legal requirement under both European and British law for the yields to be measured in this way and declared on the pack.
The actual measurements are duplicated by the laboratory of the Government Chemist, on behalf of the Department of Health. A manufacturer who does not correctly declare the numbers on the pack can be prosecuted.
The Government's Independent Committee on Smoking and Health presented four reports during the Seventies and Eighties to the Secretary of State for Health which recommended that the tobacco companies both launched lower tar products and ensured that the average yield came down by modifying existing products. We followed their recommendations.
Imperial Tobacco Ltd