Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Nicotine levels, body worlds and magic !

Apparently Philip Morris has a new nemesis - the world of magic ! The Massachusetts Department of Public Health recently found that nicotine levels in cigarettes rose about 10 percent from 1998 to 2004 ! The response from the company was that while there were fluctuations in nicotine levels, there was no steady increase. Hmmm...so magically, nicotine levels will fluctuate every few years and perhaps settle at a higher value, but that is fine, as long as it is not a steady increase!

Excerpts from the Washington Post article...
The health department study, released last month, examined nicotine levels in more than 100 brands over a six-year period. The study showed a steady climb in the amount of nicotine delivered to the lungs of smokers regardless of brand, with overall nicotine yields increasing by about 10 percent, according to state health officials.

The study also found that the three most popular cigarette brands with young smokers -- Marlboro, Newport and Camel -- delivered significantly more nicotine than they did years ago. Marlboro is a Philip Morris brand.

And the "response",

Philip Morris said the year-to-year variations "occur as part of the normal processes of growing tobacco and manufacturing cigarettes."
In an interesting, kind-of-related offshoot, I happened to attend the Body Worlds 2 exhibit (the brainchild of the German anatomist, Gunther von Hagen) while in Boston last week, and was amazed (and a bit repulsed, but that is a story for another post) at the exhibits on display there...one of the fascinating displays was the difference between a smoker's lungs and a non-smoker's lungs...I found the following images online, and you can just see the stark differences to start thinking about the effects of smoking...
They had also placed a coal-miner's lung next to these two exhibits, and to my naked (and to be fair, untrained) eye, there seemed to be no difference...in fact, the smoker's lungs seemed to be worse !

No comments: