Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Cigarette Designs Don't Offer Lower Predicted Cancer Risks

Date:
March 20, 2007
Source:
Oregon Health & Science University
Summary:
A study at Oregon Health & Science University may snuff out claims by tobacco companies that smoking such marketed "potentially reduced-exposure product" (PREP) cigarettes is safer. The study found that the predicted risks of lung cancer from PREP cigarettes are not meaningfully lower than for the conventional cigarettes that most smokers puff on every day. The report demonstrates that science does not adequately understand the sources of the cancer effects of smoke from conventional cigarettes.

A study by Dr. James F. Pankow of Oregon Health & Science University may snuff out claims by tobacco companies that smoking such newly marketed "potentially reduced-exposure product" (PREP) cigarettes is safer.
Credit: Image courtesy of Oregon Health & Science University

The tobacco company's description of its new cigarette brand seems to promise a lot.

"May present less risk of cancer associated with smoking," the company boasts on its Web site, making it a natural choice "for smokers who have decided not to quit, but who are interested in a cigarette that responds to concerns about certain smoking-related illnesses, including cancer." Another tobacco firm, in a print ad for the brand, has crowed "All of the taste ... Less of the toxins."

But a study by Dr. James F. Pankow of Oregon Health & Science University may snuff out claims by tobacco companies that smoking such newly marketed "potentially reduced-exposure product" (PREP) cigarettes is safer. The study, appearing March 16 in the journal Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention, found that the predicted risks of lung cancer from PREP cigarettes is not meaningfully lower than for the conventional cigarettes that most smokers puff on every day.

The report demonstrates that science does not adequately understand the sources of the cancer effects of smoke from conventional cigarettes. As a result, even if some of the known toxins -such as formaldehyde, arsenic, and cadmium - are removed from cigarette smoke by the new PREP designs, tobacco companies could not be sure the cancer risks had been lowered to any meaningful degree. The paper states that this makes promises of reduced harm based on such removal "speculative and unverified."

"Despite all the years of research, we can only account for a small percentage of the carcinogenicity of smoking conventional cigarettes," said Pankow, Ph.D., professor in environmental and biomolecular systems at OHSU's OGI School of Science & Engineering, and a member of the OHSU Cancer Institute.

"People have known for a long time that there are carcinogens in tobacco smoke, but if you look at the levels in conventional cigarettes and expected potency of those known carcinogens, and you add up all the predicted carcinogen activity, you don't come close to what's observed for the smoking-related lung cancer rate in the population," he said.

Grover Bagby, M.D., professor of medicine (hematology and medical oncology) and director of the OHSU Cancer Institute, said "the tobacco industry would have us believe that the health risks of tobacco use can be reduced by using new tobacco products. Dr. Pankow and his colleagues have challenged that idea in a strong epidemiological way. The Cancer Institute is actively supporting the translational research of projects of Dr. Pankow designed to biologically confirm his epidemiological studies."

Pamela Clark, Ph.D., senior research scientist at Battelle Centers for Public Health Research and Evaluation in Baltimore, said Pankow's study "has profound implications for tobacco product regulation." Clark studies the impact of comprehensive tobacco use prevention and control programs, as well as advertising and promotion of tobacco products in retail stores.

"Dr. Pankow's study shows that simply lowering the levels of a few known harmful compounds from tobacco smoke may not significantly reduce the risks of smoking," she said.

Pankow's group examined carcinogen deliveries from 26 brands of conventional "regular," "light" and "ultralight" cigarettes. Using U.S. Environmental Protection Agency data for the potency of carcinogens, Pankow's team showed that these deliveries are only able to account for about 2 percent of the lung cancer risk associated with smoking cigarettes.

Pankow said: "Since we can't account for the risks from smoking conventional cigarettes, it does not accomplish much to just remove a few of the known toxins. An analogy might be someone who abuses alcohol by drinking 10 beers a day, but says they are going to cut down to 9."

Such findings could lead to tightened restrictions on how tobacco companies market their products. Legislation is now being considered in Congress on whether and how the U.S. Food and Drug Administration should be allowed to regulate cigarettes.

"Marketing claims need to be tightly regulated. Tobacco companies should not be allowed to make expressed or implied promises that can't be completely supported," Pankow said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Oregon Health & Science University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Oregon Health & Science University. "New Cigarette Designs Don't Offer Lower Predicted Cancer Risks." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 March 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070319114434.htm>.
Oregon Health & Science University. (2007, March 20). New Cigarette Designs Don't Offer Lower Predicted Cancer Risks. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070319114434.htm
Oregon Health & Science University. "New Cigarette Designs Don't Offer Lower Predicted Cancer Risks." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070319114434.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Newsy (July 31, 2014) Citing 81 previous studies, new research out of London suggests the benefits of smoking e-cigarettes instead of regular ones outweighs the risks. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins