Friday, June 11, 2010
Brazilian Honeypot Lisiane Pires
All cigarettes are not created equal, and those in America do more harm than their foreign counterparts. American-blend cigarettes—as opposed to bright tobacco used overseas— have been found to have triple the tobacco-specific nitrosamines than brands found in Australia, Canada, or the United Kingdom.
Tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs) are potent carcinogens that are formed during the curing and processing of tobacco. The Center for Disease Control recently completed research on TSNAs, with the results being published in the June issue of Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention. Among the findings, based on analysis of cigarette butts and smokers from different countries, are that TSNAs vary from brand to brand, and from country to country and Americans are getting the short end of the cancer stick, so to speak.
By testing a variety of day-old cigarette butts and the urine of smokers in Australia, Britain, Canada and the United States, they found a correlation between the amount of TSNA that entered a smoker's body and how much is broken down in the urine. "We will be able to use this biomarker in the urine to help us understand how much of the carcinogen exposure you are getting in your mouth and lungs," said Dr. Jim Pirkle, deputy director for science at the CDC's National Center for Environmental Health's Division of Laboratory Sciences.
While this report may give the CDC ammunition to issue product standards it’s not likely to reduce the rate of smokers. For years campaigns have been waged on the dangers of smoking; from direct contact to secondhand smoke and yet U.S. smoking rates maintain their numbers, with hardly a downward trend among tobacco users.
More than 443,000 people die every year from cigarette smoke, a number that translates into the U.S. spending more than $96 billion in health care related to smoking-related diseases and the consequential deaths.