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Video: Sugar In Cigarettes: Why Is It Added And Why It Is Harmful
Sugar in cigarettes: why is it added and why it is harmful
Natural (found in tobacco leaves) and added sugars serve to reduce the harshness of the smoke, making it easier to inhale. On the other hand, added sugar increases the amount of harmful chemicals in the smoke and increases the addiction to smoking.
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Most smokers are unaware of adding sugar to cigarettes and the consequences of this, American researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill write in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research.
Natural (found in tobacco leaves) and added sugars serve to reduce the harshness of the smoke, making it easier to inhale. On the other hand, added sugar increases the amount of harmful chemicals in the smoke and makes smoking addictive.
The researchers surveyed 4,350 adult cigarette smokers. Specifically, respondents answered two questions assessing knowledge and awareness of added sugar in cigarettes:
Is sugar added to cigarettes?
- Adding sugar to cigarettes increases the toxins in cigarette smoke. Before this survey, have you ever heard of this added sugar effect?
In addition, participants were able to openly comment on the common questionnaire.
The researchers found that only 5.5% of respondents knew about adding sugar to cigarettes. In general, even after grouping into groups according to various characteristics (gender, age, income, educational level, race and ethnicity), their number did not exceed 10%.
Only 3.8% of participants were aware of the fact that sugar increases the amount of toxins in smoke. In the comments, 48 participants mentioned sugars. 52% of those comments expressed an interest in learning more about added sugar, and 23% said the topic of sugar was interesting or informative. In addition, 3 participants noted that knowledge of the added sugar prompted them to quit smoking or reduce the number of cigarettes they smoke.
“Knowledge is power and there is a clear awareness gap,” says lead researcher Andrew Seidenberg. The researchers believe that disseminating information about added sugar in cigarettes could be a promising new approach for smoking prevention campaigns.
Noel Brewer, who studied toxic chemical labeling on cigarette packs in another study, as well as the public's understanding of the harmful ingredients of cigarette smoke, says: “Added sugar in cigarettes creates a triad of death. It makes cigarettes more attractive, more addictive and more deadly. Smokers need to know that they are smoking and they do not. Cigarettes are dangerous in many different ways, making it difficult for people to track. Scientists continue to look for new ways in which cigarettes bring harm and death."
Given the low awareness, interest in smokers, and the increased popularity of added sugar in food and beverages, scientists believe it is necessary to develop ways to disseminate information about added sugar in cigarettes and test for implementation in public health media campaigns.
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