Advertising fails to inform smokers of official tar yields of cigarettes

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... The increased promotion of cigarettes yielding 15 mg tar or less (as measured by the FTC method) was followed by an increased U.S. market share of these products (61,62) from 3.6% of all cigarettes sold in 1970 to 44.8% by 1980 (71) and 72.7% in 1995 (61). Recent studies suggest that smokers' perceptions of tar yields may be influenced by misleading advertising terms such as "light" and "ultra-light" (72) and that mistaken beliefs about low tar brands may reduce intentions to quit (71,73). Following the shift to lower tar cigarettes, there was a parallel increase in adenocarcinoma of the lung, which has now become the most common lung cancer type in the United States (22,23). ...
Background: The American Cancer Society, the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), provide the second annual report to the nation on progress in cancer prevention and control, with a special section on lung cancer and tobacco smoking. Methods: Age-adjusted rates (using the 1970 U.S. standard population) were based on cancer incidence data from NCI and underlying cause of death data compiled by NCHS. The prevalence of tobacco use was derived from CDC surveys. Reported P values are two-sided. Results: From 1990 through 1996, cancer incidence (-0.9% per year; P = .16) and cancer death (-0.6% per year; P = .001) rates for all sites combined decreased. Among the 10 leading cancer incidence sites, statistically significant decreases in incidence rates were seen in males for leukemia and cancers of the lung, colon/rectum, urinary bladder, and oral cavity and pharynx. Except for lung cancer, incidence rates for these cancers also declined in females. Among the 10 leading cancer mortality sites, statistically significant decreases in cancer death rates were seen for cancers of the male lung, female breast, the prostate, male pancreas, and male brain and, for both sexes, cancers of the colon/rectum and stomach. Age-specific analyses of lung cancer revealed that rates in males first declined at younger ages and then for each older age group successively over time; rates in females appeared to be in the early stages of following the same pattern, with rates decreasing for women aged 40-59 years. Conclusions: The declines in cancer incidence and death rates, particularly for lung cancer, are encouraging. However, unless recent upward trends in smoking among adolescents can be reversed, the lung cancer rates that are currently declining in the United States may rise again.
The purpose was to determine filter ventilation and the nicotine content of tobacco and their contribution to machine-smoked yields of cigarettes from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Ninety-two brands of cigarettes (32 American, 23 Canadian, and 37 British brands) were purchased at retail outlets in State College, Pennsylvania, United States, Toronto, Canada, and London, United Kingdom. A FIDUS FDT filter ventilation tester measured the percentage air-dilution from filter vents. High-pressure, liquid chromatography was used to measure the nicotine content of tobacco. Regression techniques were used to examine the contributions of tobacco nicotine content and filter ventilation to machine-smoked yields of tar, nicotine, and carbon monoxide (CO). Ninety-four per cent of the American brands, 91% of the Canadian brands, and 79% of British brands were ventilated. The total nicotine content of tobacco and percent nicotine (by weight of tobacco) averaged 10.2 mg (standard error of the mean (SEM) 0.25, range: 7.2 to 13.4) and 1.5% (SEM 0.03, range 1.2 to 2) in the United States, 13.5 mg (SEM 0.49, range: 8.0 to 18.3) and 1.8% (SEM 0.06, range: 1.0 to 2.4) in Canada, 12.5 mg (SEM 0.33, range: 9 to 17.5) and 1.7% (SEM 0.04, range: 1.3 to 2.4) in the United Kingdom. Multiple regression analyses showed that ventilation was by far the largest factor influencing machine-smoked yields of tar, nicotine, and CO. Filter ventilation appears to be the predominant method for reducing machine-smoked yields of tar, nicotine, and CO in three countries. However, some brands contain about twice as much nicotine (total content or percent nicotine) as do others, indicating that tobacco types or blends and tobacco castings can be used to manipulate nicotine content and nicotine delivery of cigarettes.
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