Additive-free cigarettes may pack more toxic punch


December 3, 2002
Blog Entry, Health

Despite perceptions that additive-free cigarettes and the hand-rolled cigarettes from India called bidis may provide a less-toxic smoke than conventional cigarettes, new research suggests the opposite may be true. For the study, researchers asked 10 volunteers to smoke an unfiltered, additive-free American Spirit cigarette, a strawberry-flavored bidi, a non-flavored bidi and one of the participants’ own preferred brands of conventional cigarette. Results showed that two minutes after smoking the unfiltered, additive-free American Spirit cigarette or either type of bidi, participants’ plasma nicotine levels were significantly higher than when they smoked their own cigarettes. The high nicotine levels lasted longest with the American Spirit cigarette. Study results are published in the December issue of Nicotine & Tobacco Research.

From the National Institute of Drug Abuse :ADDITIVE-FREE CIGARETTES MAY PACK A MORE TOXIC TOBACCO PUNCH

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Despite perceptions that additive-free cigarettes and the hand-rolled cigarettes from India called bidis may provide a less-toxic smoke than conventional cigarettes, new research suggests the opposite may be true.
Study results published in the December issue of Nicotine & Tobacco Research examine several physiological and subjective factors among regular smokers who were asked to smoke both bidis and additive-free American Spirit cigarettes in a controlled test.

“Recently, there has been an increase in the use of alternative cigarettes such as bidis, cloves and additive-free cigarettes by adolescents,” said lead researcher Wallace Pickworth of the National Institute of Drug Abuse. “In the Boston area, for example, 40 percent of teenagers had smoked bidis at least once in their lifetime and 16 percent were current bidi smokers. About 13 percent of the sample thought bidis were safer than conventional cigarettes.”

Aside from perceptions that they are a lesser health risk than conventional cigarettes, bidis may also be popular with adolescents because they are manufactured in a variety of flavors, such as chocolate or root beer. Bidis are also generally less expensive than cigarettes and easier for youths to purchase, Pickworth said.

For the study, Pickworth and his team asked 10 research volunteers – 24.5 years old on average and considered “healthy smokers” – to smoke an unfiltered, additive-free American Spirit cigarette, a strawberry-flavored bidi, a non-flavored bidi and one of the participants’ own preferred brands of conventional cigarette.

During each session, the researchers measured participants’ plasma nicotine and exhaled carbon monoxide. Researchers also recorded the length of time participants took to smoke a cigarette or bidi, and the number of puffs. After smoking, participants completed questionnaires about each product.

Results showed that two minutes after smoking the unfiltered, additive-free American Spirit cigarette or either type of bidi, participants’ plasma nicotine levels were significantly higher than when they smoked their own cigarettes. The high nicotine levels lasted longest with the American Spirit cigarette.

Measured levels of exhaled carbon monoxide were less consistent. Researchers measured these levels 15 minutes after participants finished smoking each sample. Exhaled carbon monoxide levels dropped below those of the participants’ own cigarette brands 15 minutes after smoking the American Spirit cigarette and the unflavored bidi. The strawberry-flavored bidi, however, left participants exhaling higher amounts of carbon monoxide than with their preferred brands.

“Data from this study were collected in a single exposure to alternative cigarettes in a laboratory environment,” Pickworth granted. “The sample size was small, predominantly male and restricted to those over 18 years of age, and included only occasional bidi smokers. These characteristics may have influenced smoking patterns and subjective estimates and may limit the generalizability of the results.

“Nevertheless,” he adds, “the results indicate that, contrary to the belief of many consumers, bidi and additive-free cigarettes deliver substantial amounts of nicotine and other toxic components of tobacco smoke.”

This research was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

 


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33 Responses to Additive-free cigarettes may pack more toxic punch

  1. sage March 26, 2013 at 8:46 pm #

    “TESTS SHOW THAT CIGARETTES WITH NO ADDITIVES HAVE HIGHER LEVELS OF NICOTINE”

    Holy shit man, no way! FUCK DUDE, IM SO HAPPY I SMOKE NORMAL CHEMICAL FILLED MARLBOROS.

    This shit is nothing but anti smoking fucking bullshit.

    I guarantee that someone smoking non additive cigarettes will live longer and have less health complications than those god awful death sticks that these bastard companies produce.

    This isn’t a study, its like watching two midgets try to slap eachother in the face with their dicks, but less entertaining and more infuriating for people who actually smoke OR just wanted to know facts about the ammount of damage the non-additive cigarettes do compared to the chemical filled nonsense.

    also for those of you who dont smoke non-additive cigarettes, give it a shot, i smoked camel for 2 years then made a switch to american spirits, you feel a hell of a lot better without the other additives being absorbed into your body.

  2. anna March 8, 2013 at 11:52 am #

    HOW can you compare a filter and non filter. THis test is BEYOND infuriating.
    My Oh my why is it sooo difficult to find out how much damage nicotine causes in comparison to other additives. I dont need to be lectured about nicotine is not good for you. I got it. The ENTIRE point of additive free is the remove the ADDED harm of the additives.

  3. Anonymous January 11, 2013 at 2:44 pm #

    No shit they had higher blood nicotine levels after the American Spirits. More tobacco means more nicotine!

  4. Bob December 7, 2012 at 8:06 pm #

    Put a filter on the additive free cigarette you FUCKING retards! Science is supposed to be about FACTS not your unusual, unrealistic “study” haha this entire blog is a joke! Either your working for the government or your just flat out ignorant! I smoked regular cigarettes for years and switched to all natural American spirit and have noticed a huge difference in my lungs, body and energy levels! Science is logic right? Well logically it would just “make sense” that cigarettes that do not have POISONOUS CHEMICALS in them would kill you slower… But wtf do I know?

  5. Anonymous October 28, 2012 at 11:03 pm #

    Yes, “their own preferred brand of conventional cigarette” isn’t a factor we can do any comparison to..

  6. MPAH October 17, 2012 at 10:43 am #

    Nicotine tricks your brain by stimulating the reward pathways with a shot of dopamine, the hormone that tells us that things like food and sex are pleasurable. It also increases activity in the cholinergic pathways of the brain. These pathways are concentrated in the brain stem and are believed to be involved in cognitive functions, like memory. An increase here makes you feel sharper and more focused. As if that’s not enough, nicotine also increases your endorphin levels, the proteins that give you feelings of euphoria. At night when you aren’t smoking, those pathways are shut down again and you wake craving cigarettes. One-third of all smokers have their first cigarette of the day within 10 minutes of waking up [source: FDA].

    Naturally occurring nicotine levels found in tobacco already make smokers want to smoke. Then the Marlboro Man came along and tipped the scales more by souping-up the nicotine with the addition of sugar. When sugar is burned, it produces a chemical called acetaldehyde. Research studies on lab rats have shown that the little rodents will repeatedly self-administer shots of acetaldehyde much like they would nicotine.

    Cigarette maker Phillip Morris conducted internal studies that showed that acetaldehyde and nicotine make for pretty good bedfellows. On average, lab rats self-administered 240 doses of acetaldehyde per day, compared to 90 doses of nicotine. When the two chemicals were combined and the rats could choose to administer the cocktail over the individual ingredients, they did so in spades — with a whopping 400 doses per day [source: Ralof]. Nicotine replacement therapies like gum and patches may help to stave of the desire for nicotine, but they don’t touch the acetaldehyde. Another interesting factoid — when the body begins to break down alcohol, it produces acetaldehyde. So if you have a harder time not reaching for a smoke when you have a beer in your hand, it’s no coincidence. Once the acetaldehyde is active in your system with that drink, you’ll crave more in the form of a cigarette.

    Another thing that makes it tough to stop smoking is something called free-base nicotine. This is a variation of the molecular structure of nicotine in which a hydrogen ion is missing. Why is that hydrogen ion special? Without it, nicotine vaporizes more easily into a gas, putting it on the express train to your lungs and from there, a quick ride to the brain. Any drug delivered to the brain more quickly is more addictive. Free-base nicotine basically does for smokers what crack does to cocaine users.

    Here’s where it gets interesting. Some brands of commercial cigarettes have been found to contain 10 to 20 times the amount of free-base nicotine than previously believed [source: Medical News Today]. Not only that, but the free-base nicotine is also packed more heavily toward the front of the cigarette, so those first few puffs really pack a wallop. Is it by some miracle that nicotine transforms into the free-base variety? Hardly. It’s helped along by the addition of ammonia to your smoky treat.

  7. Ryan September 21, 2012 at 2:20 am #

    My thoughts exactly.

  8. James September 17, 2012 at 2:02 pm #

    Actually, I find the study quite enlightening. I do offer a counter to it though. You only tested unfiltered American Spirits. Redo the test with filtered and unfiltered American Spirits as well as cutting off the filter of their prefered brand and then doing the test with the filtered version of their prefered brand. The filter reduces the amount of smoke entering the subjects lungs. This means that they are getting less nicotine because their is less smoke. I would like to know how this turns out if you guys try it again. I bet you it’ll be a little different. If I am correct, the filtered American Spirits will give less nicotine then the unfiltered. If possible, also do brain scans on subjects to test if the brain is reacting differently to the no additive cigarettes.

  9. Ryan August 27, 2012 at 12:31 pm #

    Excellent post and I agree with you on all of this. I notice the same thing! I smoke the organic American Spirits and I’ll have 1 or 2 a day and I’m not craving for them, I’m simply enjoying them. You’re also right about nicotine. Nicotine isn’t really the problem. There are a lot of benefits that nicotine does for your body, the delivery system (smoking) is the main concern as well as the hundreds (and thousands after they are burned) of chemicals in say Marlboro or Camels.

  10. sb April 26, 2012 at 5:27 am #

    What sort of problem are you experiencing?

  11. ecig April 26, 2012 at 12:05 am #

    Hello, Neat post. There’s a problem with your site in internet explorer, could test this? IE nonetheless is the marketplace chief and a large component of other people will pass over your fantastic writing because of this problem.

  12. savagegirl March 1, 2012 at 10:33 am #

    oops ~ I did not realize that my first post went through, it told me it didn’t so I re-typed the whole thing and now there are two similar posts from me below ~ sorry readers~

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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