Tobacco Wars: Results of Study Differ from Phillip Morris

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Inside a cigarette: Image by Sémhur

Tobacco Studies: Interview With Dr. Glantz

The Phillip Morris studies show dramatically different results from current tobacco studies.

Decoded Science asked Dr. Glantz about the differences in the results that he found versus what Philip Morris found in their study.

“It is not a matter of what the results are, but rather how the results are interpreted.  We found that on a per cigarette or per nicotine basis, many of the toxins in the smoke were substantially increased when the additives were added to the cigarettes.  PM’s presentation, which normalized by total particulate matter, obscured this fact because the TPM was also increased by the additives.  Exposure to more TPM is, itself, bad.  We also found that it is highly likely that the failure to detect “statistically significant” increases in a wide range of toxic effects was due to the experiments being too small (in terms of the number of rats analyzed) rather than lack of a real biological effect. We also found that PM adjusted the protocol for analyzing the data after they got the original results (which were done on a per cigarette basis).”

Dr. Glantz and his colleagues also found in their analysis of the additives in each cigarettes, that 15 of the carcinogenic chemicals increased by 20 percent or more. They also found that the toxicology studies originally conducted by Phillip Morris were too small to detect the toxic levels in the additives. The additives in the cigarettes lead to an increase in the TPM which leads to an increase in health risks.

Health Risks of Tobacco Use

More total particulate matter from the additives results in an increase in cardiovascular disease, cancer, ectopic pregnancy, spontaneous abortion, preterm delivery, sudden infant death syndrome, and slower wound healing, according to Dr. Glantz’s study. In this study, he also outlines that in a letter to the editor of Food and Chemical Toxicology, Philip Morris wrote that the toxin levels are normalized by the amount of tobacco in the cigarette. However, Phillip Morris reduced the amount of tobacco in each cigarette when they started to include the additives.

Tobacco Study Obscured Health Dangers

Americans were told by the tobacco industry that cigarettes were safe, when in fact they are a dangerous product that result in addiction, disease, and death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cigarette use causes one in five deaths in the United States every year. Tobacco use causes cancer, respiratory diseases, and cardiovascular diseases, yet Americans still continue to use tobacco.

Resources

Cummings, K. M., Morley, C. P., Hyland A. Failed promises of the cigarette industry and its effect on consumer misperceptions about the health risks of smoking. Tobacco Control. (2002). i110 -i117. doi:10.1136/tc.11.suppl_1.i110.

Wertz, M., Kyriss, T., Paranjape, S., Glantz, S. The Toxic Effects of Cigarette Additives. Philip Morris’ Project Mix Reconsidered: An Analysis of Documents Released through Litigation. Public Library of Science. (December 20, 2011). Accessed December 20, 2011.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Tobacco Related Mortality. (March 21, 2011). Accessed December 20, 2011.

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