Few smokers know that sugar is added to cigarettes, a new poll suggests.
In addition, very few recognize that added sugar increases toxins in cigarette smoke, the study authors wrote in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research. 19659003]
"Knowledge is power and there is a clear knowledge gap," said senior researcher Andrew Seidenberg, a doctoral student in public health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Cigarettes contain natural and added sugar to reduce the hardness of smoke, making it easier to inhale. This also increases the amount of harmful chemicals in the smoke and the addictive potential of smoking, said Seidenberg.
"Many participants told us that they wanted to learn more about sugar in cigarettes," Seidenberg told Reuters Health via email. "So there is an opportunity to educate the public."
Seidenberg and his colleagues studied 4,350 adult cigarette smokers by recruiting them through Amazon Mechanical Turk to participate in an online e-cigarette advertising experiment. At the end of the experiment, respondents answered two questions about added sugar in cigarettes: "Is sugar being added to cigarettes?" And "The addition of sugar to cigarettes increases the toxins in cigarette smoke. Had you ever heard of this effect of added sugar before this survey?" Participants also had the opportunity to comment openly at the end of the study.
The researchers found that 5.5 percent of respondents knew that sugar was added to cigarettes. The proportion of those who knew this was never higher than 1
And only 3.8 percent of respondents knew that additional sugar increases toxins in the smoke. 19659002] "We were really surprised that almost all the smokers surveyed did not know that their cigarettes had sugar added," said Seidenberg.
He and his colleagues are developing news about added sugar in cigarettes to see if they are helpful for smoking cessation programs. In a television campaign in Australia, for example, the ad for the popular song "Sugar, Sugar" by The Archies ended with the following text on the screen: "Additives like sugar and honey can hide the bitter taste of tobacco, but the damage that cigarettes cause "Can not be hidden."
Noel Brewer, who has researched cigarette packet news about toxic chemicals as well as the public understanding of cigarette smoke ingredients, is, like Seidenberg, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, but he is not a co-author of the current study , "Extra sugar in cigarettes creates a trifecta of death," Brewer told Reuters Health by email. "It makes cigarettes more attractive, addictive and deadly, and smokers should know what they smoke and what they do not smoke."
"Cigarettes are so dangerous in so many ways that it's hard for people to keep track of," said Brewer. "Scientists are always finding new ways to harm cigarettes and cause death."