Light? Not quite
From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.
Light cigarettes have been sold to customers who wanted less nicotine, thinking light cigarettes were less addictive. But research suggests these cigarettes affect almost as many brain nicotine receptors as regular cigarettes.
UCLA researcher Arthur Brody did brain imaging to see if light cigarettes’ nicotine hooked onto the brain’s nicotine receptors as much as regular cigarettes.
He found light cigarettes had only slightly less effect than regular cigarettes. Even cigarettes with only trace amounts of nicotine – called denicotinized cigarettes – have a significant reaction in the brain.
“About 20 to 25 percent of these receptors were occupied even by these denicotinized cigarettes with only a trace amount of nicotine.’’ (7 seconds)
The study in the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology was supported by the National Institutes of Health.
Learn more at hhs.gov.
HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.
Last revised: May 7, 2011