Thursday, April 3, 2014

What Is The Distinction Between Light & Full Flavored Cigarettes

There is no such thing as a safe cigarette.

Light, mild and low-tar cigarettes were introduced in the 1960s and marketed as a healthier cigarette. Recent studies have found that many of these health claims were incorrect. In 2009, the United States Senate passed legislation that severely limited the use of "light," "mild," and other similar terms tobacco companies were using to market cigarettes. This legislation is similar to previous legislation in the European Union. Formally labeled light and mild cigarettes are still available, but are now differentiated with color-coded packaging.

Different Filters

Light cigarettes were manufactured with different filters than full-flavored cigarettes. The perforated filters allowed air from outside the cigarette to be inhaled with the smoke, creating a higher air-to-smoke ratio. Cigarettes designated "ultra light" or "ultra mild" would have larger perforations along the filter, creating an even higher air-to-smoke ratio.

Different tobacco blends

Light and mild cigarettes used different tobacco blends than those found in full-flavored cigarettes. The tobacco blends were changed to lower the nicotine and tar contents of light cigarettes. By altering the blends, the tobacco companies altered the taste of the cigarette, and while similar to full-flavored cigarettes in content, some smokers have grown accustomed to the different flavor.

Different Papers

Light cigarettes use a lighter, more porous paper to wrap the tobacco than that used in full-flavored cigarettes. This paper was designed to allow more air to flow through the cigarette and to allow harmful toxins to escape.

Health Risks

Studies have found that smokers of light cigarettes face the same health risks as smokers of full-flavored cigarettes. They found that the amount of tar in light cigarettes is only marginally lower than the amount of tar in full-flavor cigarettes, and that the perforations on the filters can be easily covered by a smokers fingers. They also found that due to a lower nicotine content, smokers of light cigarettes would smoke more than smokers of full-flavored cigarettes.

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