Why Smoking Is More Deadly & Addictive Than It Was 50 Years Ago? Tactics Tobacco Companies Now Use To Make Sure You Are Hooked

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The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids has produced a revealing info-graphic which lays out exactly how cigarettes have changed in the last five decades.

Doctors at the charity say that cigarettes today pose an even greater risk of disease than those sold in 1964 when the first warning about the health dangers came from the Surgeon General in the U.S.




Deadlier than ever: The report illustrates how cigarettes have changed over the last 50 years

The charity’s research is based on a review of scientific studies and tobacco industry documents, as well as the Surgeon General’s report.

It found that today’s smokers have a much higher risk of lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease than in 1964  – despite smoking fewer cigarettes.

This is due to ‘changes in the design and composition of cigarettes’.

The charity claims that over the past 50 years, tobacco manufacturers have designed and marketed ever more sophisticated products that are ‘effective in creating and sustaining addiction to nicotine,’ more appealing to new young smokers and much more harmful.

‘They took a deadly and addictive product and made it worse, putting smokers at even greater risk of addiction, disease and death,’ the report, Designed for Addiction, says.

Design changes: Cigarette manufacturers have made significant changes to their products to make them more appealing

The addictiveness of cigarettes has also been increased by raising nicotine levels.

The report claims that manufacturers also add ammonia, which increases the speed which nicotine is delivered to the brain .

Another tactic is to add sugars, which increase the addictive effects of nicotine and make it easier to inhale tobacco smoke.

Cigarettes today deliver nicotine more quickly from the lungs to the heart and brain.

And by altering the taste and smell of cigarettes, tobacco manufacturers have made it easier for people to start and continue smoking.

They have also made tobacco smoke less harsh by adding levulinic acid. This makes the smoke feel smoother and less irritating.

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The charity’s research is based on a review of scientific studies and tobacco industry documents, as well as the Surgeon General’s report.




It found that today’s smokers have a much higher risk of lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease than in 1964  – despite smoking fewer cigarettes.

“Most people would think that 50 years after we learned that cigarette smoking causes lung cancer, cigarettes would be safer. What’s shocking about the report we issued today is that we’ve found that a smoker today has more than twice the risk of lung cancer than a smoker fifty years ago, as a direct result of design changes made by the industry,” Matt Myers, the president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, said in an interview with ThinkProgress.


On top of that, Myers’ organization notes that these corporations have made calculated moves to create the next generation of smokers, according to internal marketing documents from tobacco companies that have been made public as a result of litigation against them. Brands like Marlboro, Newport, and Camel have specifically worked to attract younger customers in order to remain viable, citing statistics that most regular smokers pick up the habit before they turn 18.


Most people know that cigarette makers have historically worked to target young people with their advertising. Indeed, before increased regulation attempted to rein in this practice, it used to be even more explicit than it is now. For instance, the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company infamously used the cartoon character Joe Camel to help sell their cigarettes in the 1990s, a practice that mobilized anti-tobacco advocates to fight hard against marketing aimed at younger Americans. 

But the new report finds that tobacco companies have actually gone even further to woo teens. The R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company didn’t just rely on its camel; it also looked to change its cigarettes to appeal to a younger demographic. “Two key areas identified for improvement were smoothness and sweetness delivery. Smoothness is an identified opportunity area for improvement versus Marlboro, and sweetness can impart a different delivery taste dimension which younger adult smokers may be receptive to,” a 1985 product development plan for the company noted.

“We would have thought, with the tobacco industry claiming they don’t market to kids, that they wouldn’t be making design changes that increase the number of our kids who smoke,” Myers said. “But they have, quietly and behind the scenes.”

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids’ report was released to coincide with the five year anniversary of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, historic legislation that gave the FDA power to regulate tobacco products and marketing efforts. At the time, that measure was hailed as the “toughest anti-tobacco bill in American history” — and Myers’ group wants the government to use it to undo some of the changes that have been made to cigarettes over the past several decades.

“At a very minimum, the FDA should act swiftly to require the tobacco industry to reverse all the steps they’ve taken to make these products more dangerous, more addictive, and more appealing to our kids,” Myers said. “I think this report tells us that the tobacco industry has not reformed over the last 50 years.”

Source:
dailymail.co.uk
thinkprogress.org



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