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US cigarettes high in cancer causing substances--study

For their study, researchers recruited 126 smokers from four countries. The participants were between the ages of 18 and 55, and were those who had been smoking at least 10 cigarettes a day for the past one year.

If you are one of those smoking popular cigarettes brands from America, you might be inhaling more cancer-causing chemicals, reveals a new study by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

As per the research conducted by researchers, the U.S. cigarettes brands are packed with more cancer causing agents than brands of cigarettes manufactured in other countries like Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom.

126 smokers studied
For their study, researchers recruited 126 smokers from four countries. The participants were between the ages of 18 and 55, and were those who had been smoking at least 10 cigarettes a day for the past one year.

All smokers were loyal to a particular brand for at least three months.

The popular brands under study included, Marlboro, manufactured by Philip Morris U.S., Newport by Lorillard U.S., Players by Imperial Tobacco in Canada, Winfield in Australia, and Benson & Hedges in United Kingdom.

Analyzing the cigarette brands in United States and other countries, the researchers found that brands manufactured in America contained "American blend" tobacco, which has high levels of nitrosamines, a substance directly involved in the exacerbation of cancer or in the increase of its propagation.

The researchers analyzed more than 2000 cigarette butts.

U.S. brands highest in nitrosamines
Analyzing the cigarette brands in United States and other countries, the researchers found that brands manufactured in America contained "American blend" tobacco, which has high levels of nitrosamines, which are carcinogens.

Carcinogen is a substance directly involved in the exacerbation of cancer or in the increase of its propagation.

The brands from other countries were made with tobacco that was lighter in color and had low levels of nitrosamines.

To examine how much nitrosamines smokers were exposed to, researchers tested saliva and urine samples of the smokers. They found that smokers smoking U.S. brand cigarettes were three times more exposed to cancer causing chemicals than those who smoked brands from other countries.

“All of these cigarettes contain harmful levels of carcinogens, but these findings show that amounts of tobacco–specific nitrosamines differ from country to country, and U.S. brands are the highest in the study,” stated Jim Pirkle, M.D., Ph.D., deputy director for science at CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health, Division of Laboratory Sciences.

The study has been published in the June issue of 'Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.'

Toxic chemicals posing threat to life
The findings only highlight the adverse effects of tobacco, which is one of the leading cause of death. Globally, deaths as a result of tobacco have topped 5 million a year.

If tobacco consumption is not controlled, the number is likely to exceed to 8 million in a year by a year by 2030.

In United States alone, every year 443,000 U.S. residents die from cigarette smoking and passive smoking, and around 8.6 million suffer from problems caused by smoking.

The problems are caused due to chemicals like nitrosamines, which are formed from nicotine and related alkaloids during the production and processing of tobacco and tobacco products.

Apart from nitrosamines, other toxic chemicals often found in cigarettes include arsenic, commonly used in rat poison, cadmium, a heavy metal found in batteries, ammonia compounds, used in cleaning products. Ammonia is used to boost the impact of nicotine in cigarettes.

Cigarette smoke has high level of carbon monoxide, which is lethal in large amounts. It also contains hydrogen cyanide, a chemical that kill people in the gas chambers in Nazi Germany during World War II.