ISO 8243:2003 specifies two methods of sampling a population of cigarettes manufactured for sale for the preparation of samples. Different procedures are specified according to whether sampling is undertaken at the point of sale, at the producer's premises, or the importer's and distributor's warehouses.
Sampling "at one point in time" provides an instantaneous estimate of one or more characteristics of cigarettes. Sampling is carried out within as short a period as possible, not exceeding 14 d.
Sampling "over a period of time" provides a continuous estimate of one or more characteristics of cigarettes. It can be considered for practical purposes as a series of samples each taken "at one point in time".
ISO 8243:2003 provides information on the statistical treatment of data and provides estimates, based on practical experience of the order of ranking in condensate, nicotine and carbon monoxide which is found when a product is sampled and smoked in accordance with the specified procedures.