A new study published by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids explains the disturbing findings that came out last year in the Surgeon General’s Report on smoking. The report stated that in spite of the fact that the average smoker is smoking fewer cigarettes today, they’re at a higher risk of developing lung cancer and emphysema!
Why would that be? It seems that Big Tobacco has over the years engineered cigarettes into more palatable, more addictive products in a bid to get new smokers hooked. Since over the decades smoking has become less attractive and the industry has faced more regulation (e.g. warning labels on packs, a ban on advertising on TV), it’s essential for the tobacco companies to find other ways to reel in and keep new smokers.
Among the alterations in today’s smokes:
- Increased nicotine levels to make the cigarette more addictive.
- Increased ammonia levels which makes the cigarettes “smoother” as well increase the absorption of nicotine.
- Increased sugar levels, which again, makes the cigarette easier to smoke as well as increases the absorption of nicotine through a byproduct of the burnt sugar called aldehyde.
- Levulinic acid which once again makes the cigarettes easier to inhale through decreasing their harshness.
- Bronchodilators which are chemicals that open up the airways, making it easier to inhale the tobacco deep into the lungs.
- Menthol found in menthol cigarettes which cools the throat making it easier to smoke.
- Increased nitrosamine levels which cause cancer. This is due to the specific tobacco blends being used in the U.S.
- Ventilation holes in the cigarette filter which causes smokers to inhale more deeply, resulting in the tobacco smoke ending up deeper in the lungs.
There you have it – a more carcinogenic cigarette that’s inhaled deeper and is more addictive.