Cigarette filters may increase lung cancer risk

Cigarette filters may increase lung cancer risk

Cigarette filters may increase lung cancer risk

The light cigarettes contain the filter ventilation holes.

Low tar cigarettes have ventilation holes in their filters to allow smokers to inhale more smoke.

"This applies to all cigarettes, because nearly all the cigarettes on the market have the holes, not just the ones that used to be called lights and ultra-lights", he noted.

"Light" cigarettes were once marketed as safer, but researchers now believe they are behind a rise in a type of cancer that frequently occurs in deeper parts of the lungs. The OSUCCC - James and researchers at the University of Minnesota, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Virginia Tech, Harvard University and Medical University of SC are conducting additional research to reconcile human biomarkers studies and smoke distribution/exposure in the lung.

Dr. Peter Shields, the lead author of the study from The Ohio State University, said that in their data, it shows a clear relationship between the addition of ventilation holes to cigarettes and the increasing rates of lung adenocarcinoma seen over the past 20 years. "The holes let them actually inhale more smoke with more cancer-causing agents".

"The FDA has a public health obligation to take immediate regulatory action to eliminate the use of ventilation holes on cigarettes", adds Shields. "Machines have nothing to do with actual exposures in humans. Also, because the holes are there mixing smoke with air, people get less nicotine when they inhale", Shields says.

The change was a strategy to market the products as healthier, but it fooled smokers and the public into thinking the cigarettes were safer.

Moreover, even though machine-measured tar and nicotine levels have decreased over time, there has been no appreciable change in daily nicotine intake among smokers over the past 25 years, they write.

Filtered cigarettes without ventilation holes were commonly sold in the United States in the 1950s and 1960s, explained Eric Jacobs, PhD, strategic director of pharmacoepidemiology with the American Cancer Society.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was given the authority to regulate the manufacture, distribution and marketing of tobacco products through the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act in 2009.

"The holes have no health benefits; they serve no health goal", he explained. So, if they have the potential harm, the FDA can act, even if the science is not flawless. It has been noted that the holes were introduced to the cigarettes around 50 years back to bring more customers who are concerned about the health issues. This is easy and they are doing it for some brands already. "We are not saying to remove filters, only to change their designs by removing the holes on the filters".

He added that the FDA now has the authority to require the elimination of filter ventilation, as it doesn't serve any public health objective and instead provides a "false promise" of reduced risk.

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