Min-Ae Song, PhD, postdoctoral fellow in the CPH Center of Excellence in Regulatory Tobacco Science, and Micah Berman, JD, CPH assistant professor, were among the co-authors on new research which shows that so-called “light” cigarettes have no health benefits to smokers and have likely contributed to the rise of a certain form of lung cancer that occurs deep in the lungs.
Song and Berman were among several co-authors from The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center — Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute, and five other U.S. and international cancer centers. Multiple media and news services have covered the research findings, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The subject is trending on some social media, including Reddit’s Journal of Science discussions.
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Rise in Lung Adenocarcinoma Linked to Light Cigarette Use
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A new study shows that so-called “light” cigarettes have no health benefits to smokers and have likely contributed to the rise of a certain form of lung cancer that occurs deep in the lungs.
For this new study, researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James) and five other universities/cancer centers examined why the most common type of lung cancer, called adenocarcinoma, has increased over the last 50 years, rather than decreasing as smokers have been able to quit. Other types of lung cancer have been decreasing in relationship to fewer people smoking, but not lung adenocarcinoma. Because of this, lung adenocarcinoma is now the most common type of lung cancer.
Results confirm what tobacco-control researchers have suspected for years: There is no health benefit to high-ventilation (light) cigarettes – long marketed by the tobacco industry as a “healthier” option – and these cigarettes have actually have caused more harm. Holes in cigarette filters were introduced 50 years ago and were critical to claims for low-tar cigarettes.
“This was done to fool smokers and the public health community into thinking that they actually were safer,” says Peter Shields, MD, deputy director of the OSUCCC – James and a lung medical oncologist. “Our data suggests a clear relationship between the addition of ventilation holes to cigarettes and increasing rates of lung adenocarcinoma seen over the past 20 years. What is especially concerning is that these holes are still added to virtually all cigarettes that are smoked today.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was given the authority to regulate the manufacture, distribution and marketing of tobacco products through the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act in 2009. Current regulations ban tobacco companies from labeling and marketing cigarettes as “low tar” or "light." Study authors, however, say that given this new data, the FDA should take immediate action to regulate the use of the ventilation holes, up to and including a complete ban of the holes.
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