Science News

“Natural” or “organic” cigarettes show no benefits

The so-called “natural” and “organic” cigarettes show no particular differences, in terms of damage to the human body, compared to classic cigarettes according to a new study conducted by researchers from the University of Minnesota.

Cigarettes described as “natural” or “made from organic tobacco” can, in fact, be found on the market which should imply a reduced risk of exposure to toxic substances. Previous studies have already shown that these advertising labels and slogans, which today in different states are no longer allowed, have succeeded, at least in the past, in their intent: smokers perceive these cigarettes as less harmful than the more classic ones.

The researchers carried out a chemical analysis of 13 varieties of cigarettes advertised as natural or as containing minor amounts of toxic substances. The results of the study, conducted by Irina Stepanov, were then published in Tobacco Regulatory Science. The researchers used a special smoking machine, a device that faithfully simulates cigarette smoke from a human being while measuring the chemical compounds that are emitted.

The results showed that the levels of toxic and carcinogenic chemicals in these “natural” cigarettes are generally similar to those of other commercial cigarettes. Furthermore, these cigarettes would show higher levels of nicotine than the average of the other levels.

The research also shows that the harmful chemicals that enter the body through cigarette smoke come from the tobacco plant itself or from the combustion process of the same and not from the fact that tobacco can be “organic” or “natural,” as specified Aleksandra Alcheva, one of the authors of the study.

Henry Wright

I hold a masters degree in statistics and was a professor at Iowa State University for nearly 2 years before moving into stock trading full time. In 2017, I founded Bridgestone News Room and in 2019 got serious about building the site up as a credible source for science news. Since then, I have brought on several contributors and have published many news items on different kinds of research. Outside of my main work and the time I spend building up this website, my main hobby is participating in machine learning and data analysis competitions on Kaggle.

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Henry Wright