A robust method for the analysis of selected vapour phase (VP) compounds in mainstream smoke (MSS) is described. Cigarettes are smoked on a rotary smoking machine and the VP that passes through the Cambridge filter pad collected in a TedlarA¯ bag. On completion of smoking, the bag contents are sampled onto an adsorption tube containing a mixed carbon bed. The tube is subsequently analysed on an automated thermal desorption (TD) system coupled to a gas chromatography-flame ionization detector (GC-FID) using a PoraPLOT-Q column. Quantification of 14 volatile compounds including the major carbonyls is achieved. Details of the method validation data are included in this paper. This method has been used to analyse the VP of cigarette MSS over a wide range of ‘tar’ deliveries and configurations with excellent repeatability. Results for the University of Kentucky reference cigarette 1R4F are in good agreement with reported values.