KatieB Posted August 31, 2006 Share Posted August 31, 2006 http://www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/news/nation/15405477.htm NICOTINE CHANGES 1998-2004 Doral 85 filter light had the biggest increase in nicotine yield, 36 percent. (Some of this may have been the result of an increase in the total amount of tobacco put in that brand's cigarettes, one expert said.) Marlboro, the brand preferred by two-thirds of high school smokers, had a 12 percent increase in nicotine. Kool menthol lights had a 30 percent increase in nicotine. Newport menthol filter 100s was tied with Camel nonfilters for highest nicotine in 1998 -- 2.9 milligrams. In 2004, Newport menthols had risen to 3.2 milligrams. Study finds 10 percent more nicotine in cigarettes By DAVID BROWN The Washington Post WASHINGTON - The amount of nicotine in most cigarettes rose an average of 10 percent between 1998 and 2004, and brands most popular with youths and minorities registered the biggest increases and highest nicotine content, according to a new study. While no one has studied the effect of nicotine increases on smokers, the higher levels could make new smokers easily addicted and make it harder for established smokers to quit. The trend was discovered by the Massachusetts Public Health Department, which requires that tobacco companies measure the nicotine content of cigarettes each year and report the results. Using a method that mimics actual smoking, the nicotine delivered per cigarette -- the "yield" -- rose 9.9 percent from 1998 to 2004 -- from 1.72 milligrams to 1.89 milligrams. The amount of nicotine per gram of tobacco increased 11.3 percent over that period. In all, 92 of 116 brands tested had higher nicotine yield in 2004 than in 1998, and 52 had increases of more than 10 percent. Not only did most brands have more nicotine in 2004, the number of brands with high nicotine yields also rose. "The reports are stunning," said Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. "What's critical is the consistency of the increase, which leads to the conclusion that it has to have been conscious and deliberate." Massachusetts is one of only three states that requires tobacco companies to provide annual measurements of nicotine in cigarettes. Texas and Minnesota also require tobacco companies to report nicotine data. A spokesman for the Texas State Health Services Department said that although the agency had been getting the data for years, it has not had the manpower to analyze it. A Massachusetts health department official said she had not asked tobacco companies to explain the trend. Instead, she concentrated on the message for consumers. "People need to be aware of this," said Sally Fogerty, Massachusetts's associate health commissioner. "If a person is trying to quit and is having a hard time, it's not just them. "There is an increasing percentage of nicotine that they are ingesting, and that may make it more difficult." The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also focused on the potential behavioral consequences. "We know nicotine is addictive, so if the amount of nicotine in cigarettes is increasing, it could make it even harder for the 70 percent of smokers who want to quit and the more than 40 percent who try to quit every year," said Corinne Husten, acting director of the CDC's Office on Smoking and Health, in an e-mail. Tobacco company spokespeople would not comment. One company official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that while the nicotine content measured by smoking machines can vary by up to 6 percent between individual cigarettes of the same brand, "we don't know" whether a brand's production could differ that much every year. However, in a 1,653-page opinion released two weeks ago in a landmark suit against the major tobacco companies by the federal government and several anti-smoking organizations, the judge found that cigarette makers adjusted nicotine levels with great care. "Using the knowledge produced by that research, defendants have designed their cigarettes to precisely control nicotine delivery levels and provide doses of nicotine sufficient to create and sustain addiction," wrote U.S. District Court Judge Gladys Kessler. The ruling enjoined the companies from misinforming the public about tobacco's hazards. The companies are uncertain what that means and cited the ruling as the chief reason for their silence Wednesday. Reginald Fant, a clinical pharmacologist and nicotine expert at Pinney Associates, a consulting firm in Bethesda, Md., said that increasing nicotine content by 10 percent "would not be expected" to change how much a person smokes but might affect his ability to quit. ONLINE: www.mass.gov/dph/ Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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