(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – While the overall rate of lung cancer continues to decline in the United States, one form of the disease often found in the outer areas of the lungs continues to climb — and experts think they know why.
“Adenocarcinoma, which is today the most common type of lung cancer, is continuing to increase,” said Dr. Peter Shields. “There is mounting evidence that tiny holes found near the filter of certain cigarettes are largely to blame.”
In a newly published study, Shields, deputy director of The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Institute, is joining other oncologists and cancer researchers around the nation in calling for new federal regulations on the holes placed near the filters of cigarettes, if not an outright ban of them.
The holes that encircle the mouthpiece were originally developed to make the cigarette taste smoother and make smokers think the smoke they were inhaling was less harmful.
However, the holes allow the cigarette to burn slower and at a lower temperature, and because the smoke is diluted with air, smokers often inhale longer, forcing more toxic chemicals deeper into the lungs.
“The public health community thought that those holes might a good thing originally. Unfortunately, it’s becoming clear there are some consequences with the design that make cigarettes more dangerous and cause people to die in increasing numbers.”
“We think there is enough evidence now that the Food and Drug Administration can ban the holes that encircle the filters in an effort to protect consumers, and in doing so, help drive down the number of cases and deaths from lung cancer.”