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Cigarette risk

know how fast this brand will kill you
 
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Cigarettes say on the pack how much nicotine, carbon dioxide and tar they give you -- but how do you use that information? Is the risk always the same for the same quantity of tar? Almost certainly not, as there are hundreds of more or less dangerous compounds bundled together there.

So, I suggest that cigarette packs should also indicate how mutagenic they are, as mutagenicity is a good index of carcinogenicity. Just arrange a standards procedure for absorbing the smoke into e.g. a petri dish, and then run a standard Ames test. The result is a number that people can use to compare how mutagenic different brands are, rather than having to guess at relative health risk from the tar number. If we're going to put this information there, it should be in a usable form. The test would be simple and cheap to run.

swyves, Nov 24 2006

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       Nicotine is not mutagenic, but contributes a fair amount to the health risk of cigarettes as it promotes arterial constriction and heart attack. So this assay would miss that aspect of smoking risk entirely.
bungston, Nov 25 2006
  

       Ah, but the cigarettes already say how much nicotine they contain -- I'm suggesting this as an "as well" rather than an "instead". More information for the consumer seems a good idea.   

       Incidentally, I already tried this one on with tobacco manufacturers and government health authorities; while I see it as an extremely cheap and practical benefit to the consumer, neither was interested. The tobacco companies don't want to admit that any cigarettes are dangerous, and the authorities try to spread the belief that all are instantly lethal.   

       I'm left honestly confused, despite my scientific background: can I link tar to cancer risk? Will it do me the same harm to smoke 10 cigarettes with 1mg as to smoke one with 10mg? The official line on banning terms like "low tar" and "light" was to remove the "false impression" that they are less dangerous -- but aren't they? Please, enlighten me...
swyves, Nov 25 2006
  

       Bones to that. Where I live, they banned smoking anywhere that has at least two walls and something resembling a roof about eight months ago. BLISS.
whennightfalls, Nov 25 2006
  

       I'm not advocating smoking -- just suggesting a way that people who do smoke in places with just the one wall can have access to more information about the dangers they're in.
swyves, Nov 25 2006
  

       YOU RANG?
blissmiss, Nov 25 2006
  

       Do people really think that smoking is good for them?   

       Would extra info on the carton or pack have stopped me from lighting one up when I was 15? I don't think so. I was determined to be cool not healthy.
Chefboyrbored, Nov 25 2006
  

       Hawaii recently just passed a law just like for [whennightfalls] and just like him (or her) it's been great. Especially with my baby, i'm not as worried about where I can and can't take her.
twitch, Nov 26 2006
  
      
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