Skip to comments.Some brands of cigarettes ' more addictive'
Posted on 07/27/2003 12:15:45 PM PDT by yonif
Some cigarette brands are likely to be far more addictive than others, new research warns.
For the first time, scientists have measured the amount of super-addictive "freebase" nicotine different cigarettes deliver to the smoker. Like crack cocaine, freebase nicotine vaporises and passes rapidly through the lungs into the bloodstream.
Because it reaches the brain so quickly it is thought to be more addictive than normal nicotine, which stays in the form of sooty smoke particles. Until now it has not been known how much freebase nicotine various types of cigarette contain.
The new research, from a team at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, US, could lead to ways of rating the addictiveness of different brands.
Scientists compared 11 brands of cigarette available in the US.
They found that some brands contained 10 to 20 times higher percentages of freebase nicotine than experts had previously been led to believe. Brands were compared with a laboratory "reference" cigarette containing one per cent freebase nicotine.
They varied greatly, ranging from one per cent or two per cent to 36 per cent for a speciality US brand called American Spirit.
The popular Marlboro brand contained up to 9.6 per cent freebase nicotine. Other well known brands included Camel (2.7 per cent), Winston (five per cent - 6.2 per cent) and Gauloises Blondes (5.7 per cent - 7.5 per cent).
In many cases, the freebase content was higher in the first puffs. Marlboro, for instances, had a freebase nicotine level of 9.6 per cent in the first three puffs and 2.7 per cent in later puffs.
Professor James Pankow, who led the study reported in the journal Chemical Research in Toxicology, said: "We found big differences in the percentages of freebase nicotine among 11 commercial cigarette brands.
"During smoking, only the freebase form can volatise from a particle into the air in the respiratory tract. Gaseous nicotine is known to deposit super-quickly in the lungs. From there, it's transported rapidly to the brain.
"Since scientists have shown that a drug becomes more addictive when it is delivered to the brain more rapidly, freebase nicotine levels in cigarette smoke thus are at the heart of the controversy regarding the tobacco industry's use of additives like ammonia and urea, as well as blending choices in cigarette design."
The tests were carried out using a laboratory smoking device and a gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer which analyses chemical composition. Separate measurements were made of the first three puffs and about eight subsequent puffs.
The several times I've done the cold turkey with 'em........had me doubled over from the cravings.
Oh well, it's not like I didn't know cigarettes were addictive when I started......
Interesting. American Spirit claims its cigarettes are additive free. They even have a super-specialty variety that contains only organically grown tobacco.
You realize you just gave up a milion bucks by stating that, don't you.
I for one am one of the apparently unique individuals who has one cigarette per most evenings after dinner. I used that to give up my Beech Nut chewing tobacco habit.
The greatest cigarettes in the world, by the way, are Silk Cuts. I'll be bringing a few cartons back to Oklahoma when I return from Switzlerand on friday.
I like Dunhill menthols, too.
That is interesting. For the last ten years (3rd decade of smoking) I have rolled my own from American Spirit. It is all additive free. 100% tobacco. I smoke less than when I smoked Marlboro (1st ten years) and Camel Filters (2nd ten years).
When I switched to rolling my own I used Velvet, not AS. I had a couple of packs of Camel Filters left at the time. For the first week or so I found myself smoking cigarette after cigarette of Velvet until I was nearly green from nicotine poisoning and still not feeling "satisified". I would then light up a Camel Filter and get "satisfaction" with the first puff. I had to wean myself off of the chemo-smokes.
Me too. I switched brands when I found out about all the additives they were putting in there (saltpeter?!?!?!). I switched to Winston because of their 100% tobacco,"No Bull" marketing thing. From the artcle, I see that they are fairly high on the freebase factor! Maybe I need to go to camels.
I smoke lights and ultra-lights, with a mind to get the chemical addiction as low as possible before I drop 'em again. Last time, "anger management" was a big problem.
Not inhaling the first three or four puffs on any cig might be another good addiction minimizing trick, based on what the article said.
No. The new legal precedent is that even though you knew they were addictive and harmful to your health when you started, you can still sue.
Following the incremental quitting strategy, another good method is switching from store-bought cigarettes to rolling your own. Tobacco shops sell good quality, reasonably priced additive free tobacco, along with rolling papers in bulk that are much cheaper than the pot smoker's rolling papers that you can buy at convenience stores. They also have rolling machines that only cost two or three bucks.
I don't smoke, but I have to hear more about this. Marlboros have WHAT in them? (Thanks in advance.)
Since the freebase factor only concerns nicotine it becomes a choice between high doses of nicotine and chemical additives. I will freely admit I am and have been addicted to tobacco since I started smoking. I have no plans to quit. Do I need to worry about how addictive the brand of tobacco I'm smoking is?