A new UCLA study shows that at least 100 of the 599 documented cigarette additives have "pharmacological" actions, many of which enhance or maintain the delivery of nicotine and may increase the addictiveness of cigarettes.
As lawmakers debate whether to allow federal regulation of tobacco products, the study's findings point to a need for regulation of cigarette additives as well.
Michel D. Rabinoff, assistant research psychiatrist at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
The research appears in the July 31 online edition of the peer reviewed American Journal of Public Health.
Researchers investigated tobacco industry documents and other sources for evidence of possible pharmacological and chemical effects of tobacco additives. The study found that 100 of the 599 documented cigarette additives had pharmacological actions that camouflage the negative impact of smoke in the environment by masking odor, visibility and irritation (without equivalent efforts to decrease the harmful effects of second-hand smoke); enhance or maintain nicotine delivery; and mask symptoms and illnesses associated with smoking behaviors (many botanical and other additives have anesthetic, antibacterial, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antiviral properties).
The National Institute of Mental Health supported the research.