"Safer" Cigarettes??? Better to smoke a joint!

Discussion in 'Pandora's Box' started by Superjoint, Feb 23, 2001.

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  1. \'Safer\' Cigarettes May Be as Harmful as Regular Varieties

    By Marc Kaufman
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Friday, February 23, 2001; Page A02

    Light cigarettes, as well as new slow-burning and other \"safer\" varieties that claim to reduce health risks, may be just as harmful as conventional cigarettes, according to a major report released yesterday by the National Academy of Sciences.

    The report, the most comprehensive ever on the cigarettes designed to be less risky, concludes that it is scientifically feasible to develop and manufacture cigarettes that cause less disease than today\'s brands.

    But it warns that previous attempts, such as the introduction of cigarettes containing less tar and nicotine, failed to reduce health risks because smokers just inhaled more deeply to get their nicotine and smoked more because they believed the cigarettes were safer.

    The many \"risk-reduced\" cigarettes being introduced and developed could have similar unintended consequences and might encourage certain tobacco-related diseases while not contributing to others, the report concludes.

    In the absence of government regulations requiring new cigarettes to undergo independent scientific evaluation, the report states, the public is left without clear information about their safety.

    Written by a panel of 12 doctors and scientists for the academy\'s Institute of Medicine (IOM), the report recommends that tobacco companies be allowed to market cigarettes claiming to reduce risk only after a federal agency has scientifically concluded that they are \"not false or misleading.\" Currently there is no federal authority to regulate tobacco.

    In addition, the report concludes that manufacturers should be required to identify and disclose the toxic components of cigarettes designed to be safer so their possible link to disease can be assessed. There are more than 4,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, and many are known to be toxic.

    \"Our committee applauds the notion of helping individuals who cannot or will not quit smoking,\" Stuart Bondurant of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, who chaired the IOM committee, said in a prepared statement.

    \"We believe it may be possible to reduce harm from tobacco use with new products, but we frankly do not know the health effects of the various products on the market today that claim to do this,\" he said. \"Many still incorporate tobacco, and because no tobacco product is safe, the effects of these new products must be carefully studied to make a reliable judgment as to whether they actually reduce risk and harm.\"

    The report is in response to a 1999 request by the Food and Drug Administration to examine the scientific and public health implications of potentially less harmful tobacco products. The panel spent a year reviewing all the scientific literature on supposedly safer cigarettes.

    Tobacco companies are test-marketing numerous cigarettes that burn less and emit fewer toxins, and members of the IOM committee said that companies told them of others in the pipeline. Some of the new cigarettes claim to possibly reduce health risks, but the report concluded there was no fully evaluated evidence to support that position.

    Cigarette smoking by adults dropped sharply after the surgeon general linked tobacco to lung cancer and other fatal diseases, but it has leveled off in the past decade. About 47 million Americans, or a quarter of the adult population, smoke. Although a substantial majority say they want to quit, only 3 percent succeed each year. Because smoking is so deadly, the report said that trying to find ways to reduce risks for smokers is an important public health goal.

    The FDA claimed authority to regulate tobacco in 1996, arguing that cigarettes are medical devices that deliver the addictive drug nicotine. The Supreme Court overturned the FDA\'s position last year 5 to 4.

    Tobacco companies have been researching potentially safer cigarettes for decades and have intensified those efforts in recent years as public campaigns against tobacco have increased. The Philip Morris Cos. said last year for the first time that it is willing to accept some kind of federal regulation of cigarettes, and a spokeswoman said yesterday that the company \"was in philosophical agreement with the [IOM] report.\" There are two bills pending in the Senate to grant authority to the FDA or another federal agency to regulate some aspects of tobacco manufacturing.

    A spokesman for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., which has been selling slow-burning Eclipse cigarettes in test markets for several years, said yesterday that his company is \"pleased that IOM believes that reduced-risk cigarettes should be part of a sound public health policy, and that cigarette manufacturers should be encouraged to develop reduced-risk tobacco products.\"

    Tobacco control advocates have been skeptical of industry plans for safer cigarettes and voiced support for the IOM\'s recommendations for expanded scientific research and government regulation.

    \"The new generation of so-called \'reduced risk\' products may be nothing more than a scientifically sophisticated version of the \'light\' cigarette, which we know is neither safer nor less addictive than conventional cigarettes,\" said Mitch Zeller of the American Legacy Foundation. \"Strong science must exist to support these new claims. Otherwise, smokers or potential smokers run the risk of being deceived yet again by the tobacco industry.\"

    The report also examined nicotine replacement products such as patches and concluded that although they are useful as an aid to stop smoking, their long-term safety and effectiveness are unknown. In particular, the committee found that people who use nicotine replacement to reduce, but not stop, their smoking may not be cutting their health risk all.

    © 2001 The Washington Post Company
  2. all light ciggerets are is just the same tobbaco in paper that has more holes in it. so you have to suck harder and some of the smoke go through the paper and becomes second hand smoke. yea thats much safer.
  3. All cigs are bad for you, no matter what, and light cigs aren\'t the same tobacco as noraml cigs, but it is true that there are holes in the filters. If u don\'t believe me, try smoking a light cig without the filter and a normal cig w/out the filter and i guarentee they will be different. I smoke the hard stuff , cause why pay the same amount for less, cigs are already expensive enough. And i need my nicotine after a good session of bong hits or after a phat blunt.
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