NZ Smokefree e-News 2006;10:Nov 27
Continuing to smoke while smoking any
cigarette does not reduce harm- NZ and Norwegian studies agree.
New state-of-the-art filter
cigarette more toxic than Holiday
Marlboro UltraSmooth: a potentially reduced exposure cigarette?
Murray Laugesen (Health New Zealand) and Jefferson Fowles (ESR).
Tobacco Control 2006;15:430-435; doi:10.1136/tc.2006.016055
The Marlboro UltraSmooth (MUS)
cigarette, test marketed in the United
2005, with combined acetate and carbon filter, is arguably
"state of the art", designed to reduce smoke
emissions. It removes almost all emissions if the machine
inhales 250 ml of smoke, and removes half from 380 ml of smoke,
but on a per milligram of nicotine basis, implying a doubling of
smoke inhaled to obtain the same amount of nicotine, MUS smoke
per cigarette was estimated to be potentially more toxic than
for 13 out of 18 regular brands tested (Marlboro, Holiday and 16
from British Columbia). On this basis, MUS does not qualify as a
potentially reduced-exposure product (PREP).
Marlboro UltraSmooth is not on sale in New Zealand, and Philip Morris has no known
plans to sell it here.
abstract see www.tobaccocontrol.com
and search under Laugesen or Fowles.
research was funded by a small project grant from the National Heart
Foundation of NZ.
Reducing daily cigarette
consumption does not reduce mortality
three-county cohort study of 50,000 men and women in Norway by Bjartveit et al has found no significant decrease in
all-cause or other mortality in heavy smokers who reduced their daily
cigarette consumption over many years. The (dismal) findings agree with a Copenhagen cohort study which also found
no significant decrease in mortality due to “cutting down.”See Aage Tverdal and Kjell Bjartveit Health
consequences of reduced daily cigarette consumption. Tob. Control, Dec
2006; 15: 472 - 480.
Comment: Previous studies by Doll (UK)
and Bjartveit have shown that mortality is higher
for heavy smokers. However the practical question is whether heavier
smokers can reduce their risk without quitting. They cannot, even if they
stay reduced for many years, as in this study. Whereas, those who quit
reduced their risk 50% in this study.
This study confirming the Copenhagen study, increases the pressure
of tobacco control programmes to measure results
entirely in the numbers quitting and staying quit.
This is not to deny that reduced smoking can assist some
smokers to quit a short time later. In that case only, reducing smoking is