A new survey suggests that very few smokers know there is sugar added to cigarettes to reduce the harshness of the smoke, and that the added sugar also increases toxins in cigarette smoke.
This is according to a study published in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research.
“Knowledge is power and there is a clear gap in awareness,” said lead researcher Andrew Seidenberg, a public health doctoral student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He added that in addition to increasing the amount of harmful chemicals in smoke, the sugar additive also adds to the addictive potential of smoking.
The survey examined 4,350 adult cigarette smokers through recruitment at Amazon Mechanical Turk in an online experiment on e-cigarette advertising. Two questions at the end of the survey asked: “Is sugar added to cigarettes?” and “Adding sugar to cigarettes increases toxins in cigarette smoke. Before this survey, had you ever heard of this effect of added sugar?”
The research indicated that only 5.5 percent knew that sugar was added to cigarettes and only 3.8 percent of those surveyed knew that added sugar increases toxins in smoke. White processed sugar is contained in each cigarette also has been found to be addictive.
Cigarettes reportedly are the only product not required to print its ingredients on the containers/boxes.
These researchers are developing messages for the public about added sugars in cigarettes to continue to grow an awareness about the dangers of cigarette smoking.