'Mild' Cigarettes Don't Cut Nicotine Intake

Smokers negate effect by puffing more, inhaling deeper

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TUESDAY, July 20, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- "Light" or "mild" cigarette brands don't substantially reduce nicotine intake, a new study of Japanese smokers claims.

Smokers who switch to cigarette brands that yield 0.1 milligrams of nicotine from brands that yield 1.1 milligrams might expect to lower their nicotine intake by a factor of 11.

But researchers at Kyoto First Red Cross Hospital found that the actual reduction in nicotine intake was less than twofold. Their research appears in the July 20 online issue of the journal BMC Public Health.

The doctors assessed the nicotine intake of 458 smokers by measuring the concentration of nicotine residue in the smokers' urine.

They found that people who smoke more than 40 cigarettes per day hardly reduced their nicotine intake at all by switching to mild brands.

Lead researcher Atsuko Nakazawa found that smokers "may actually increase their risk due to compensatory behavior" by taking more puffs per cigarette or by increasing the depth of their inhalation.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about tobacco.

SOURCES: BioMed Central, news release, July 20, 2004

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