Last updated 6
December 2006 for a printer-friendly version www.healthnz.co.nz/lesstoxicDec06.pdf
Aim- Research the scope
for reduction in toxic
gases in cigarette
smoke, for those who continue
Research published in 2006________________________________________________
Research of emissions
of a state-of-the-art filter cigarette compared with the Holiday NZ
Laugesen M and Fowles J.
Marlboro UltraSmooth - a potentially reduced
exposure cigarette? Tobacco Control December 2006.
MUS emitted more
toxic gases in its smoke than Holiday, under realistic smoke machine
MUS was thus not a potentially
reduced-exposure product (PREP) under smoker-realistic test
conditions, and thus would not be expected to reduce overall harm.
It is unrealistic to expect that even major design changes, as
seen in MUS, or a regulatory framework to enforce
such changes, could reduce cigarette smoking mortality risks to
This was first independent report assessing the toxicity
of the Marlboro UltraSmooth brand, which Philip
Morris was test marketing in the USA during 2005. See www.healthnz.co.nz/MUS.htm or www.tobaccocontrol.com searchword Laugesen
published in 2005_________________________________________________
(1) Emissions research on Mild Seven
charcoal filter cigarettes
Laugesen M, Fowles, J. Scope for regulation of cigarette smoke toxicity: the case for
including charcoal filters. NZMJ 2005
Read the research
Full texts at www.nzma.org.nz/journal/118-1213/
) Research of Cigarette company documents 1965- present
Evidence from cigarette company chemists
As recorded in
previously secret tobacco industry documents obtained by legal discovery
The documents clearly show that the
chemists’ findings were reported to their managers within the
company at the time.
Tobacco Company scientists in 1964 found that plain (non filter)
cigarettes contained the most hydrogen cyanide (HCN) in the smoke. Half
of the HCN is in the tar, and as a standard non-charcoal (cellulose
acetate) filter partly removes tar, some HCN is removed. Much of the rest
was removed by charcoal. Note however, that the smoker is exposed to
considerable HCN even with a charcoal filter. (HCN in smoke partly blocks
all cells from using oxygen, and is toxic to heart and brain. Even one
cigarette is considered toxic.) (Figure 2).
American Tobacco company chemists in the 1960s found that charcoal
filters reduced HCN and the aldehydes in smoke.
Aldehydes include the gas acrolein,
which is responsible for over 95% of the known identifiable poisons in
cigarette smoke that damage the lung. Other gases in this group are
acetaldehyde and formaldehyde, which cause cancer, and cause lung damage.
Generally, three-quarters of these gases could be filtered out by
charcoal. (Figure 3)
of the big five cigarette makers, researched charcoal filters in 1980,
and found them highly effective. (Figure 4).
Charcoal filter reduces emissions of hydrogen cyanide, aldehydes, acetone, and benzene.
- Ihrig AM. The selective removal of aldehydes from cigarette smoke. Lorillard
February 20, 1980.
Bates no. 80007395 to 80007421. http://tobaccodocuments/lor/80007395-7421.html accessed 18 May 2005
Caution: Smokers should not assume that because
charcoal can filter out the most poisonous gases, that all will be well.
At this point in time, only about half of the cancer caused by cigarettes
can be accounted for by chemicals that can be measured in the smoke.
Carbon monoxide for example, generally cannot be filtered out. Free
radicals (trillions per puff) are not easily measured, have important
damaging effects, and are not easily removed.
Nevertheless, because many smokers are highly
addicted, government has a duty of care to filter out those major
poisonous gases which can be removed.
For the Health New Zealand research papers on toxicity reduction,
click on www.healthnz.co.nz/toxicitypubs.htm