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Variation within global cigarette brands in tar, nicotine, and certain nitrosamines: analytic study
  1. NIGEL GRAY,
  2. DAVID ZARIDZE*,
  3. CHRIS ROBERTSON,
  4. L KRIVOSHEEVA*,
  5. N SIGACHEVA*,
  6. PETER BOYLE,
  7. THE INTERNATIONAL CIGARETTE VARIATION GROUP
  1. Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
  2. European Institute of Oncology
  3. Via Ripamonti 435, 20141, Milan, Italy
  4. *Institute of Carcinogenesis
  5. Cancer Research Centre
  6. Russian Academy of Medical Sciences
  7. Kashirskoye Sh. 24, Moscow 115478, Russian Federation
  1. Professor Boyle peter.boyle{at}ieo.it

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Editor,—While the content of food, pharmaceutical products, drugs, and many other consumer goods are tightly regulated by governments, tobacco products, surprisingly, are not.

Tar and nicotine yields of cigarettes have progressively, but not universally, appeared on cigarette packets and advertising since 1967. These figures have been used to justify terms such as “light” and “mild” in descriptive advertising. In 1981 a US public health report concluded: “the preponderance of scientific evidence strongly suggests that the lower the “tar” and nicotine content of the cigarette, the less harmful would be the effect.”1

Some early reports concluded, plausibly, that a decrease in lung cancer mortality could be ascribed to smoking reduced tar cigarettes, although more recent data2 suggest that there is little if any difference in the long term outcome of smoking “low tar” as against “regular” cigarettes. Further there has been an increase in adenocarcinoma relative to squamous carcinoma, …

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