Tobacco smoke flavoring contains hazardous chemicals

May 07, 2000

Compounds May Pose Additional Health Risk to Smokers

Scientists have new data that toxic flavoring chemicals found in cigarettes are reaching smokers through cigarette smoke and may pose health hazards of their own. The finding is reported in the April issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, published by the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society.

The flavoring chemicals, known as alkenylbenzenes, are found in tobacco additives used to enhance the taste of cigarette smoke. Until now, no one knew how much of the compounds entered cigarette smoke, according to lead author David Ashley, Ph.D., at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

The researchers used a new detection method to analyze the cigarette smoke of eight U.S. brands. Previously, no method existed to easily and accurately measure the flavoring compounds in a single cigarette.

Long-term health effects from inhaling alkenylbenzenes directly or by second-hand smoke are unknown in humans, though earlier research associated them with cancer and lung damage in laboratory animals.

The National Academy of Sciences deems flavorings containing alkenylbenzenes safe for human foods. The additives, when eaten by humans, are thought to be safely eliminated by the liver. Cigarette smoke, however, delivers the chemicals to the lungs, where they spread through the body before the liver can screen them.

In the study, smoke from all types of cigarette - filtered, unfiltered and menthol - was tested for flavoring chemicals. Brand names were not released. Varying levels of five alkenylbenzenes were found in each, according to the researchers. In previous CDC research, researchers found one or more flavoring compounds in the tobacco of 42 of the 68 U.S. cigarette brands they examined.

One of the chemicals was found at levels up to four micrograms per gram of tobacco. Higher levels were found in the smoke when ventilation holes in the cigarette's filter were blocked.

In animals, exposure to the chemicals can cause cancer and lung disease. In rodents, for example, animals inhaling one flavoring compound - eugenol - show far more serious adverse health effects than animals eating it, according to previous research.
-end-
The online version of the research paper cited above was initially published March 22 on the journal's Web site.

The online version of the research paper cited above is available on the American Chemical Society's ASAP (As Soon As Publishable) web site. Journalists desiring full access to papers at the ASAP site must submit their requests in writing to newsroom@acs.org in the ACS Department of News & Information.

American Chemical Society

Related Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

New blood cancer treatment works by selectively interfering with cancer cell signalling
University of Alberta scientists have identified the mechanism of action behind a new type of precision cancer drug for blood cancers that is set for human trials, according to research published in Nature Communications.

UCI researchers uncover cancer cell vulnerabilities; may lead to better cancer therapies
A new University of California, Irvine-led study reveals a protein responsible for genetic changes resulting in a variety of cancers, may also be the key to more effective, targeted cancer therapy.

Breast cancer treatment costs highest among young women with metastic cancer
In a fight for their lives, young women, age 18-44, spend double the amount of older women to survive metastatic breast cancer, according to a large statewide study by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Cancer mortality continues steady decline, driven by progress against lung cancer
The cancer death rate declined by 29% from 1991 to 2017, including a 2.2% drop from 2016 to 2017, the largest single-year drop in cancer mortality ever reported.

Stress in cervical cancer patients associated with higher risk of cancer-specific mortality
Psychological stress was associated with a higher risk of cancer-specific mortality in women diagnosed with cervical cancer.

Cancer-sniffing dogs 97% accurate in identifying lung cancer, according to study in JAOA
The next step will be to further fractionate the samples based on chemical and physical properties, presenting them back to the dogs until the specific biomarkers for each cancer are identified.

Moffitt Cancer Center researchers identify one way T cell function may fail in cancer
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers have discovered a mechanism by which one type of immune cell, CD8+ T cells, can become dysfunctional, impeding its ability to seek and kill cancer cells.

More cancer survivors, fewer cancer specialists point to challenge in meeting care needs
An aging population, a growing number of cancer survivors, and a projected shortage of cancer care providers will result in a challenge in delivering the care for cancer survivors in the United States if systemic changes are not made.

New cancer vaccine platform a potential tool for efficacious targeted cancer therapy
Researchers at the University of Helsinki have discovered a solution in the form of a cancer vaccine platform for improving the efficacy of oncolytic viruses used in cancer treatment.

American Cancer Society outlines blueprint for cancer control in the 21st century
The American Cancer Society is outlining its vision for cancer control in the decades ahead in a series of articles that forms the basis of a national cancer control plan.

Read More: Cancer News and Cancer Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.