From a health care perspective, the best cigarette is no cigarette, but for the millions of people who try to quit smoking every year, researchers from Cornell University may have found a way to make cigarette smoking less toxic.
Using natural antioxidant extracts in cigarette filters, the researchers were able to demonstrate that lycopene and grape seed extract drastically reduced the amount of cancer-causing free radicals passing through the filter.
The research will be the 1500th article published in the Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE), the only peer-reviewed, PubMed indexed video-journal.
"The implications of this technique can help reduce the hazardous effects of tobacco smoke," said Dr. Boris Dzilkovski, who co-authored the paper, "because free radicals are a major group of carcinogens."
Scientists have tried to make safer cigarettes in the past. Haemoglobin (which transports oxygen in red blood cells) and activated carbon have been shown to reduce free-radicals in smoke by up to 90 percent, but because of the cost, the combination has not been successfully introduced to the market.
"Practically, this research could lead to an alternative type of cigarette filter with a free radical scavenging additive," said Kolski-Andreaco, JoVE Content Director. "It could lead to a less harmful cigarette."
- Long-Xi Yu, Boris G. Dzikovski, Jack H. Freed. A Protocol for Detecting and Scavenging Gas-phase Free Radicals in Mainstream Cigarette Smoke. Journal of Visualized Experiments, 2012; (59) DOI: 10.3791/3406
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