When it comes to smoking, filtered cigarettes might be seen as a less dangerous option. However, recent research found they are actually worse than normal cigarettes. The holes in the filters allow more harmful substances to reach the lungs. Although the overall rate of lung cancer decreased in the last decade, the rate of adenocarcinoma (now the most common type of lung cancer) increased exponentially in the same period of time.
In Attempt to Make Cigarettes Healthier, Manufacturers Made Them More Dangerous
A new study shows that the cigarettes that have holes in their filters are not better than normally-filtered cigarettes. Due to the increased air flow that allows a more intense combustion process, light or filtered cigarettes feature more combustion products that reach deeper layers of the lungs.
The team examined several previous studies that included human trials. It was observed that the filter holes allowed people to inhale more toxins and mutagens compared to normally-filtered cigarettes.
“The filter ventilation holes change how the tobacco is burned, producing more carcinogens, which then allows the smoke to reach the deeper parts of the lung where adenocarcinomas more frequently occur, mentioned the researchers
About half a century ago, cigarette manufacturers came up with the idea of adding holes in filtered cigarettes for a lighter, healthier smoking experience. Since filtered cigarettes hit the market in the 60s, the cell type of lung cancer changed. Before the 1960s only 33% of lung cancer cases were adenocarcinomas. Now, more than 80% of them are adenocarcinomas. Researchers mentioned that there is a real correlation between the time filtered cigarettes were introduced and the exponential increase and decrease in carcinoma, respectively lung cancer incidence.
What is the solution to the filtered cigarettes problem?
Researchers stated that filters should not be removed from cigarettes. This is because normal filters actually help people inhale less toxins compared to unfiltered cigarettes. More research is needed to establish the optimum balance between the width and density of filter holes. Removing all of the hole is also a possibility but that could make the cigarette more toxic. All in all, a change needs to be made in how cigarettes are designed so that the risk of lung cancer and adenocarcinomas decreases.
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