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Low-Nicotine Cigarettes May Not Lead to More Smoking
Concerns about inhaling more toxic chemicals weren't borne out in study

By Robert Preidt

FRIDAY, Aug. 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- People who use reduced-nicotine cigarettes don't smoke more to make up for the lower levels of nicotine, according to a new study.

This means they don't inhale more toxic chemicals than other smokers, the researchers say.

The month-long study included 72 adult smokers, aged 18 to 65, who smoked regular cigarettes with nicotine emission levels of 1.2 milligrams (mg) each for one week. The participants then switched to reduced-nicotine cigarettes for the next three weeks.

In each of those three weeks, the participants smoked cigarettes with decreasing nicotine emission levels -- 0.6 mg, 0.3 mg, and 0.05 mg or less.

At the end of each week, urine and breath samples were collected from the smokers. The number of cigarettes smoked, and the number of puffs taken from cigarettes by the participants did not change during the study. The findings are published Aug. 22 in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Also, there were no changes in the levels of carbon monoxide in their breath and no difference in urine levels of 1-hydroxypyrene, a potentially cancer-causing chemical in cigarettes.

"As a result of the 2009 Tobacco Act, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has the mandate to reduce nicotine levels in cigarettes to negligible amounts," said study author David Hammond, associate professor in the School of Public Health and Health Systems at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada.

However, concerns have arisen that smokers will be exposed to greater amounts of toxic chemicals in smoke as they try to extract more nicotine from cigarettes, he explained. "The current study suggests that this may not be the case," he said in a journal news release.

Instead, the findings show "that smokers are unable or unwilling to compensate when there is markedly less nicotine in the cigarette and when the experience of smoking is far less rewarding," said Hammond. "Our study may help regulators anticipate the possible consequences of mandatory nicotine reductions in cigarettes."

Sources of funding for the study included Health Canada and the Canadian Cancer Society. No cigarette makers were involved.

More information

The American Cancer Society offers a guide to quitting smoking.

SOURCE: Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, news release, Aug. 22, 2014

Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=690945

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
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Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


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