Thursday, July 9, 2009

Smoking More Now?

Many years ago, one brand of cigarettes had a slogan, “Are you smoking more now, but enjoying it less?” The pitch was that their brand was more enjoyable than other brands. But as it turns out, people did start smoking a lot more after the 1964 Surgeon General’s report.

There was a hue and cry about the dangers of tar and nicotine in cigarette smoke, and the cigarette companies responded with reformulated blends of tobacco and more powerful filters. They called their new products “Lights’ to reflect the lower amounts of tar and nicotine in the product.

What very few people realized is that smokers “self-regulate” their nicotine intake. Most smokers had stabilized their intake to an average of a pack per day. From these 20 cigarettes, they obtained just enough nicotine to feel normal in terms of energy, concentration, mood, and performance. When they switched to “Lights” in an effort to act more “healthy”, they were not obtaining the same amount of nicotine from those 20 cigarettes.

Some smokers self-regulated by taking more puffs and/or drawing the smoke deeper into their lungs. But most responded by smoking more cigarettes – building up their intake to 1-1/2 to 2/-1/2 packs per day. Thus they were smoking more, but enjoying it less, as their lungs paid the price for the increase in smoke particulates and other toxins.

Ironically, what nobody realized is that the nicotine did not pose any direct health threat. Thus if the tobacco companies had responded to the Surgeon General’s report by developing products that filtered out the tar while keeping the amount of nicotine stable, they truly might have been offering a safer product.

1 comment:

  1. Isn't it crazy that there is a safer product out there now and people want to ban it? And even without testing, we know for fact that due to the lack of combustion and the lack of tars and carcinogens, it is therefor safer. Wanting to put the electronic cigarette to the standards of pharmaceutical NRT's and not to the true comparison tobacco cigarettes, is silly.

    Could you imagine that in 20 years it is possible that people are no longer burning tobacco but vaporizing it? Wouldn't that be awesome! We could have our cake and eat it too!