Researchers say that cigarette filters introduced decades ago can reduce the amount of tar inhaled by smokers, but will also change the smoke and other characteristics of smoking, thereby increasing the risk of lung cancer.
In reviewing studies on changes in the incidence of lung cancer and changes in the most common types of lung cancer, the authors of the study concluded that the tiny vents in almost all cigarettes sold today pose new health risks.
"The design of a ventilated cigarette filter will make cigarettes more dangerous because these holes can change the way the tobacco is burned, allowing smokers to inhale more smoke and believe that the smoke is safer because it is smoother," said the senior author, Ph.D. . Peter D. Shields from Wexner Medical Center at Ohio State University in Columbus told Reuters Health via email.
"This applies to all cigarettes, because almost all cigarettes on the market have perforations, not just those previously known as light cigarettes and ultra-light cigarettes," he pointed out.
The researchers pointed out that although the incidence of lung cancer in the population decreases with the decline in overall smoking rates, the incidence of lung cancer among smokers has increased significantly. Since the 1950s, the types of lung cancer associated with smoking have also changed.
Researchers write that since the 1950s, with changes in cigarette design and composition, the incidence of lung adenocarcinoma, which is most related to smoking, has increased more than four times in men and eight times in women.
Shields and his team reviewed the evidence linking cigarette filter ventilation to the increased incidence of these lung cancers in a report published online in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute on May 22.
They wrote that when tested on a smoking machine, filter ventilation reduced the amount of tar in cigarette smoke, but increased ventilation and slower tobacco burning resulted in more puffs per cigarette and smokers inhaled more Toxic carcinogenic chemicals.
"Using vents can only produce lower tar on the machine," Shields said. "The machine has nothing to do with actual human exposure. These holes actually allow them to inhale more smoke that contains more carcinogens."
However, because of claims of lower tar content, smokers mistakenly believe that cigarettes with lower tar content are healthier, Shields’ team wrote.
Increasing the ventilation of the filter will also cause the particle size to become smaller, allowing more smoke to reach the vulnerable parts of the lungs.
In addition, they wrote that although machine-measured tar and nicotine levels have declined over time, there has been no significant change in smokers' daily nicotine intake over the past 25 years.
"Evidence shows that the more modern cigarettes, the greater the risk of lung cancer," Shields said. "In addition to vulnerabilities, there are some reasons that can also lead to increased risks, but one does not rule out the other."
Shields said cigarette design can and should be regulated to address all possible causes.
"These holes have no health benefits; they have no health purpose," he explained. “They don’t reduce the tar delivered to people. So if they are potentially harmful, the FDA can take action even if the science is not perfect. The FDA can require cigarette manufacturers to make filters without holes. It’s easy, they are already Do this for some brands."
Shields clarified that using filters may indeed be safer. "This research is about the holes in the filters. We are not talking about removing the filters, we just change their design by removing the holes in the filters."
"The FDA now has the right to request the removal of filter ventilation because the ventilation does not serve any public health purpose and instead provides a false promise to reduce risk," the research team concluded.
They wrote: "The FDA's single action to ban filter ventilation is scientifically sound and is within its responsibility to improve public health."
The bans proposed by Jonathan M. Samet and Lilit Aladadyan (Jonathan M. Samet and Lilit Aladadyan) from the Tobacco Regulatory Science Center of the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California and the Global Health Institute of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles are: Some precedents. Attached editorial.
The evidence collected by the Shields team appears to be sufficient to support the FDA's actions, and "Given the lack of evidence to offset the harm, ending filter ventilation may be a'no regrets' action that benefits public health," they wrote.
Source: bit.ly/2rJhNyy and bit.ly/2rJKjA9
All quotes are delayed by at least 15 minutes. Please see the complete list of exchanges and delays here.