MA Study Finds Nicotine Levels Increasing
> 8/31/2006 10:54:41 AM

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health released the results this week of a 7-year-long study that examined the amount of nicotine in many common cigarette brands. Their main finding, which has grabbed headlines across the country, shows that there has been a 10% increase in the amount of nicotine in cigarettes over the time span of the study. A quote from the Boston Globe sums up many people's frustration with the findings:

"We in public health have tried to spend a lot of time figuring out why people don't stop smoking," said Lois Keithly , director of the Massachusetts Tobacco Control Program . "It is more difficult to quit when there is a higher amount of nicotine in the cigarette."

Unlike some other nicotine studies, the MA study is meant to reflect the amount of nicotine that is actually inhaled when individuals smoke. This was meant to augment research by the Federal Trade Commission that was seen as not applicable to the way people actually smoke. In the past, the Federal Trade Commission had published information regarding nicotine levels in cigarettes. Although they have continued to collect data, they have failed to publish anything since 1999.

From the perspective of those interested in the public health aspects of smoking, this new research should leave little doubt as to the aims of Big Tobacco. Nicotine is highly addictive, and the increased levels indicate a willingness, if not an outright need by these corporations to do what is necessary to keep people buying their product in the face of insurmountable evidence against their use. We can only hope, at this point, that research like this will prove to be only a nail in the coffin of these company's complete disregard for their customers' health.

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