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Low-Nicotine Cigarettes Just as Bad for Health

Posted November. 27, 2008 20:02,   


Cigarettes with extremely low levels of nicotine are no less harmful than ordinary cigarettes, according to a study released yesterday.

Researchers at the Sungshim Hospital of Hallym University led by professor Baek Yoo-jin surveyed 507 male smokers older than 18 who visited the hospital from May to October last year. The results showed little or no correlation between the type of cigarettes and body nicotine levels.

Based on cigarettes the patients favored, the researchers divided test subjects into three groups: those who smoke ordinary cigarettes (233 patients); those smoking cigarettes with low nicotine (207); and those smoking cigarettes with extremely low levels of nicotine or “de-nics” (67). The nicotine levels absorbed in the body were then analyzed.

Ordinary cigarettes contain 0.9 to 1.5 milligrams of nicotine, low-nicotine cigarettes 0.1 milligram, and “de-nics” 0.05 milligram. Assuming ordinary cigarettes give off nicotine 100 percent through urine, low-nicotine cigarettes excreted 84 percent of nicotine and de-nics 78 percent.

“Due to the body mechanism that maintains nicotine at a certain level in blood, the absorption rate automatically increases when people puff on low-nicotine cigarettes,” said professor Baek. “It is a myth that smoking low-nicotine cigarettes is less harmful.”