Lights – can it be true?

We are quite familiar with the argument by now – that smoking lower tar cigarettes is not better because smokers engage in compensatory smoking. In other words they take larger / more frequent puffs in an effort to maintain their nicotine level.

Conventional wisdom – by now, unfortunately yes – but is it true?

I think not – although I must admit I can’t prove it – anymore than anybody else can prove the contrary.

At first pass it appears quite reasonable that smokers switching to lower tar cigarettes compensate for their loss.

Whether this is permanent or not is unclear – and unknown – so far as I’m aware.

But what about new smokers who only smoked lighter cigarettes – do they compensate – seems unlikely doesn’t it?

And here’s another thing – tar levels have dropped over the last 30 years – a full flavor is no longer 25+mgms but more normally 15mgms these days. In the EU it’s 10mgms -quite a drop when you think about it.

Even if WHO & CDC think light cigarettes make no sense, governments and consumers seem not to agree.

Moreover this pragmatic approach, acknowledges the practical limitations in eliminating smoking and keeps tax revenues.

Can you go lower? Yes but there are limits; consumers still demand a little taste.

If you agree or disagree post a comment.

3 comments ↓

#1 Patriot on 02.21.08 at 1:21 AM

I was thinking about this and is possible that one of the reasons that Newport is growing is because of a higher tar level? Anyone know how it compares to Camel & Marlboro?

#2 Troubadour on 04.19.08 at 12:07 AM

It’s my thought that folks smoke for the satisfaction that it gives them. For some its a light and others its the more the better!

#3 Brave heart on 06.27.08 at 10:58 PM

How does the proposed FDA regulation deal with the lights issue? Any comments.

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