-- Robert Preidt
TUESDAY, April 12 (HealthDay News) -- Many smokers in western
nations still incorrectly believe that certain types of cigarettes,
such as "mild" and "low tar" brands, are less of a health risk than
others, a new study shows.
Researchers surveyed more than 8,000 smokers in Australia,
Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States, and found that
about one-fifth of them wrongly believed that "some cigarettes
could be less harmful than others."
The study also found that many smokers incorrectly believed that
slim cigarettes are less harmful, smooth-tasting cigarettes are
less risky than hard-tasting cigarettes, filters reduce risk, and
nicotine is responsible for most of the cancers caused by
The findings were published April 12 in the journal
The researchers noted that more than 50 countries have banned
the use of labels such as "light," "mild" and "low tar" on
cigarettes. In response, some companies have changed their "light"
cigarettes to "silver" and "gold" brands. For example, Marlboro
Lights have become Marlboro Gold. A large percentage of smokers now
equate those colors with low-risk cigarettes, said the study
"The findings highlight the deceptive potential of 'slim' cigarette brands targeted primarily at young women. The findings also support the potential health benefits of plain packaging regulations that will soon take effect in Australia, under which all cigarettes will be sold in packages with the same plain color, without graphics or logos," study co-author Dr. David Hammond said in a journal news release.
The American Cancer Society has more about
smoking, tobacco and health.
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