Cigarette filters, introduced decades ago to reduce the amount of tar smokers inhale, also alter other properties of smoke and smoking in a way that raises the risk of lung cancer, researchers say.
In a review of research on changes in lung cancer rates, and changes in the types of lung cancer that are most common, the study authors argue that tiny ventilation holes in virtually all cigarettes sold today are creating a new health risk.
"The design of cigarette filters that have ventilation can make the cigarettes even more dangerous, because those holes can change how the tobacco burns, allow smokers to inhale more smoke and to think that the smoke is safer because it is smoother,” senior author Dr. Peter D. Shields from The Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center in Columbus told Reuters Health by email.
“This applies to all cigarettes, because almost all the cigarettes on the market have the holes, not just the ones that used to be called lights and ultra-lights,” he noted.
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