A startling new study reveals the dark secret behind tobacco products sold in the U.S.
We have all been told to avoid smoking cigarettes, but a surprising number of people have little idea exactly why they are so dangerous. According to a report from Science Daily, a new study from researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill suggests that the FDA should be doing more to make people aware of the different types of dangerous chemicals found in cigarettes and how they affect you.
According to the study’s lead author, Marcella Boynton,”The majority of the U.S. public wants easy access to information about chemicals in cigarettes and other tobacco products. Surprisingly, our results reveal that groups one might presume to be the least psychologically motivated to look for this information, young adults and smokers, were more likely to say that they had previously looked for this information. “
The researchers found that about a quarter of adults have searched for information regarding different types of tobacco and the potentially harmful components within. 37.2 percent of these adults were aged 18 to 25, and 34.3 percent were smokers themselves. Despite the number of people who had carried out research on the risks posed by the different chemicals present in tobacco, the study found that the majority of the respondents were unaware of the chemicals present in tobacco smoke, with the exception of nicotine.
Why do these results matter? The study reveals that people are woefully uninformed about the constituents of tobacco smoke but are looking for information in earnest. The scientists made a recommendation that would increase access to information about tobacco smoke and the specific risks posed by each of the chemicals present.
It’s difficult to overstate the dangers posed by tobacco smoke – there are roughly 480,000 tobacco-related deaths in the United States each year. Commonly known constitutents of tobacco smoke include nicotine and carbon monoxide, but additionally the lesser-known components like acrolein and nitrosamines.
The study reveals that peoples’ understanding of tobacco smoke and the associated risks is limited, at best. Then again, if more people actually knew what was inside cigarette smoke, there would be fewer smokers in the world.
A press release from BioMed Central describing the details of the study can be found here.