Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Have you ever wondered why you keep reaching for that cigarette?  You know they are bad for you and cause all kinds of health problems but you continue to smoke them.  The reason is that you are helplessly addicted to nicotine and your friends at the tobacco companies are making sure that you stay addicted.
A few years back a scientist conducted a study on the addictive properties of various brands of cigarettes.  His name is James Pankow and the study was conducted at the Oregon Health and Sciences University.  The study measured the amount of free base nicotine levels in various brands of cigarettes.  Free base nicotine is a potent form of nicotine that is naturally occurring in tobacco and is absorbed much more rapidly by your lungs and brain.   Think of it as crack nicotine.

The study measured the percent of free base nicotine in the first 3 puffs of a cigarette.   Below are the results of the 11 brands studied.  

AMERICAN SPIRIT              29%
MARLBORO                          9.6%
VIRGINIA SLIMS                  7.5%
WINSTON                               5.0%
DORAL 100'S                          4.1%
KAMEL REDS                        3.4%
CAMEL                                    2.7%
GPC                                          1.6%

Unfortunately in most cases the specific type of cigarette by brand was not cited but this gives you an idea of the amount of free base nicotine in your particular brand.  American Spirit which has been marketed as a more natural cigarette contains by far the highest levels and thus you can conclude is the most addictive type of cigarette on the market based on this study.

While any amount of nicotine will cause addiction, it is clear that the more nicotine you absorb into your body, the greater your addiction will be. 

Remember, if you abstain from smoking or placing nicotine in your body for 72 hours, you will have removed all nicotine and you will no longer be physically addicted to nicotine.

Good luck on your journey to quit smoking.   Do yourself a favor and make that cigarette your last.

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source: Journal reference: Journal of Chemical Research in Toxicology (DOI: DOI: 10.1021/tx0340596)


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