Tobacco Industry Increased Addictive Nicotine in Cigarettes
September 19, 2006
A Massachusetts law forcing tobacco companies to report test results has shown that the tobacco industry has been making cigarettes more addictive.
Between 1998 and 2004, manufacturers increased the amount of addictive nicotine by 10 percent.
In addition, 166 out of 179 cigarette brands fell into the state's highest nicotine yield range, including 59 brands labeled "light" and 14 labeled "ultra-light."
This gradually increasing addictiveness of cigarettes had not previously been noted because the standard government test is easy to fool with a carefully designed cigarette; virtually all independent experts consider it inaccurate. The Massachusetts test, which required manufacturers to use a better testing method, showed nicotine yields that were more than twice those found using the standard test.
The Massachusetts report echoes the decision of a federal judge in Washington, who recently determined that companies designed cigarettes to produce low nicotine readings on the standard test while actually delivering significantly more addictive nicotine.