Ever since the 1960s it’s been understood that cigarettes are bad for your body. But American cigarettes may be worse than foreign brands. That is according to scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). HealthDay Reporter mentions that in a study, CDC researchers compared the main cancer-causing ingredient in cigarettes, nitrosamines, in the cigarette butts of American cigarettes and those from other countries. They found that not all cigarettes are the same in the amount of carcinogens they deliver to smokers. And that is an understatement.
The amount of nitrosamines in U.S. brands was about three times that of brands from Canada, the United Kingdom, or Australia, says Dr. Jim Pirkle with the CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health. Tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNA) are known to vary among different brands of cigarettes but what’s of concern is that American smokers are exposed to even more of the drugs linked to cancer.
American blend tobacco has higher levels of TSNAs, while tobacco from other countries is called “bright” tobacco and is flue-cured, creating cigarettes with lower levels of TSNA, according to the CDC.
The bottom line is that all cigarettes are unsafe, regardless.
How will this information be used? Just in time for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to flex its new muscle and authority over dangerous tobacco products under the newly created Center for Tobacco Products.
Under the landmark law, signed by President Obama, the FDA plans to first address menthol cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, then any false promises the industry makes of one tobacco product as being safer than another. If the FDA decides that reducing the TSNA levels in cigarettes will benefit public health, we may see the agency address those standards in all tobacco products on the market.
The irony and danger here is that changing the TSNA levels will still not make cigarettes “safer” so critics say there is a danger in public perception in requiring cigarettes to have fewer carcinogens. Farah and Farah has years of experience in litigating cases against Big Tobacco and while this information is not surprising, it is further indication that the tobacco industry has no interest in protecting public health.