Hookah, Light or Filtered Cigarette: no Low Nicotine and Tar; have Same Risk

Hookah, Light or Filtered Cigarette: no Low Nicotine and Tar; have Same Risk

Historically, the tobacco companies' so-called new and "safer" products, such as "low tar and nicotine" and filtered cigarettes, have done little to protect the consumer because they simply encourage smokers to smoke more often or inhale more deeply to satisfy their cravings for nicotine.


The majority of smokers don’t know the facts about what’s in their cigarettes and how these ingredients may be harming them. Most smokers also don’t realize there are no health benefits to filtered and low tar cigarette or light cigarette, hookah or do they understand the ins and outs of nicotine medications such as patches.

Many Light and Ultra-light smokers are smoking these cigarettes to reduce the risks of smoking and/or as a step toward quitting. However, these smokers are unaware that one Ultra-light/Light cigarette can give them the same amount of tar and nicotine as one Regular cigarette. Many of the Ultra-light/Light smokers sampled in a study stated that they would be likely to quit if they knew this information. Mistaken beliefs about low-yield brands are reducing intentions to quit smoking.

Hookah (shisha, narghile, goza) smoking has become very popular among youth and adults in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia, creating an urgent global public health concern for over 100 million Hookah smokers worldwide. The waterpipe-also called hookah, narghile, shisha and goza-is used to smoke flavored tobacco by indirectly heating the tobacco with charcoal or embers.

Secondhand smoke also contains as many as 4,000 chemicals, including 200 known poisons, such as formaldehyde and carbon monoxide, as well as 43 carcinogens.

Narghile smoke likely contains an abundance of several of the chemicals thought to be causal factors in the elevated incidence of cancer, cardiovascular disease and addiction in cigarette smokers. According to a recent World Health Organization (WHO) advisory, a typical one-hour session of hookah smoking exposes the user to 100 to 200 times the volume of smoke inhaled from a single cigarette.

Cigar smoking and pipe smoking are almost as likely to cause lung cancer as cigarette smoking. Smoking low tar or "light" cigarette increases lung cancer risk as much as regular cigarettes. There is concern that mentholated cigarettes may increase the risk. It is thought that the menthol may allow smokers to inhale more deeply.

Smoking is a major risk factor for tuberculosis (TB),” according to a recent U.C. Berkeley study. The study asserts that smokers have a 73% higher risk of becoming infected with TB than nonsmokers. It is a well established fact that there is a significant association between cigarette smoking and chronic bronchitis.

According to the journal of the American College of Chest Physician; the physical and chemical properties of cigarette smoke causes oxidative stress in people and alterations in the responsiveness of inflammatory cells. Smoking more than 20 cigarettes per day were almost three times more likely to acquire pneumonia than persons who never smoked.

Advertisements suggest that smokers of cigarettes low in nicotine are exposed to less nicotine and tar. But a study published in the New England Journal Medicine shown that only 3.8 to 5.0 per cent of total variance in nicotine and tar variation was observer. They conclude that smokers of low-nicotine cigarettes do not consume less nicotine.

Hookah smoke is innocuous compared with cigarette smoking, recent biomedical and epidemiological research has demonstrated that the Hookah smoke is several times more injurious than cigarette smoke because of the significantly higher toxicants in hookah smoke. The color of the smoke may correspond to a chemical property of cigarette, such as nicotine and/or tar-level. Also, different colors of smoke could be used for varieties such as regular, light, and ultra-light cigarettes

Hookah smokers are exposed to three-fold greater amounts of CO—an odorless gas—than are cigarette smokers. Hemoglobin, the iron-containing protein in blood that transports oxygen from lungs to all parts of the body in vertebrates, has extremely high affinity for CO, and forms carboxyhemoglobin (COHb), which can no longer serve as either the oxygen acceptor or as the oxygen carrier. Hookah smokers have significantly higher levels of COHb in their blood than heavy cigarette smokers who smoke 15 to 40 cigarettes.

In a new monograph from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) have indicated that among the estimated 47 million adults who smoke in the United States, people who are most concerned about smoking risks or are most interested in quitting use brands labeled “light” or “ultra-light.” Unfortunately, the monograph finds that choosing lower yield cigarettes is not likely to reduce tar intake and resulting disease risks. Furthermore, marketing and promotion of reduced yield products may delay genuine attempts to quit. There is no evidence that switching to light or ultra-light cigarettes actually assists smokers in quitting.

It was believed that the water would filter out the toxicants in the tobacco. "Thus, a widespread and unsubstantiated belief held by many water pipe users today-that the practice is relatively safe-is as old as the water pipe itself," the WHO advisory states. Primarily as a result of the wrongful belief that the water from the hookah filters out most harmful materials. Furthermore, hookah smoking sessions tend to last longer than cigarette smoking.

When comparing types of cigarettes, researchers found no difference in bladder cancer risk associated with filtered versus unfiltered cigarettes or low-tar versus high-tar cigarettes—nor any difference in risk tied to whether smokers reported deep or shallow inhalations. This research was funded through grants by the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

An was used to measure bacterial endotoxin (LPS) in the tobacco and filter tip components of unsmoked experimental cigarettes and commercially available "light" cigarettes. Result found that smoking one pack of cigarettes per day delivers a dose of respirable LPS that is comparable to the levels of LPS associated with adverse health effects in cotton textile workers. Thus, we suggest that the bioactive LPS in cigarette smoke may contribute to the pathogenesis of chronic bronchitis that develops in susceptible cigarette smokers. This study was done at University of Maryland Medical School, Baltimore, MD.

Another study at the Pennsylvania State University, Pennsylvania, USA suggested that Filter ventilation is a dangerous, defective technology that should be abandoned in less hazardous nicotine delivery systems. Health interested groups should test cigarettes in a way that reflects compensatory smoking. Lower tar (vented filter) cigarettes should be actively counter marketed.

The introduction of filtered and low-tar cigarettes in the 1950s coincided with a steady rise in the incidence of a once-rare type of lung cancer that's now the most common form of the disease, a new study finds recently.

Decades ago, squamous cell carcinoma was the most common form of lung cancer. But between 1950 and 2007, adenocarcinoma became the most frequently diagnosed lung malignancy, as the market share of filtered cigarettes soared from just 1 percent to almost 100 percent, the study authors said.

Described as a "correlation of evidence," the apparent link was uncovered by study author Dr. Gary M. Strauss, medical director of the lung cancer program at Tufts-New England Medical Center in Boston. He presented the findings Wednesday at the 12th World Conference on Lung Cancer, in Seoul, South Korea.

Strauss and his colleagues suggest that the impact of filtered cigarettes on adenocarcinoma rates is due to the introduction of filter vents in filtered cigarettes, making it easier to draw in smoke. These vents allow smokers to take bigger and deeper puffs, thereby inhaling carcinogens further into the bronchial passages and lungs.

"The rise of adenocarcinoma is consistent with changes in cigarette design and composition -- which the cigarette industry indicated were safer -- that they introduced in response to mounting evidence that smoking causes other forms of lung cancer," Strauss said.

"And so the point is that the tobacco industry, through how they changed the cigarette over time and deceived the public for decades about its safety, has created an epidemic," he added. Strauss and his colleagues said they found that the wide-scale adoption of filtered and low-tar cigarettes closely tracked the jump in adenocarcinoma rates.

Filtered cigarettes went from 1 percent of the U.S. market in 1950 to 64 percent by 1964. By 1986, filtered cigarettes had captured 95 percent of the market; by 2007 that figure was 98 percent. "And while adenocarcinoma of the lung has always existed, it is now the most common form of lung cancer, and probably the second most common cause of cancer death," said Strauss. "Probably more people die specifically of smoking-related adenocarcinoma today than die of colon cancer."

"So while nothing is really new here, we're putting it all together," he said. And what emerges, he added, is the story of a tobacco industry that years back actively changed its product to minimize its known connection to certain types of cancers, thereby giving birth to a whole new carcinogenic threat and an even bigger lung cancer killer.

"And so now I'm hoping that there will be a recognition that the tobacco industry actually created this deadly epidemic of smoking-related adenocarcinoma through decades of deception," Strauss said.

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