Deutsch: Tobacco bill’s consequences

SUDBURY —Hard as it may be to believe, a bill which, as I write, has just been passed by the Senate and is on the way to a President who is eager to sign it, will clearly have effects opposite to those which it is said to have been designed to produce. The bill authorizes the FDA to require that the nicotine content of cigarettes be lowered. Let me explain how this would increase the sales of cigarettes, require smokers to pay more for their habit, and increase the incidence of cancer caused by smoking.

Of the excess deaths caused by smoking, about 60 percent are caused by heart disease, about 13 percent by lung cancer, and the rest mostly by assorted other kinds of cancer. The reason that many people think of lung cancer as the chief culprit is that lung cancer is a relatively rare disease in the absence ofcigarettes online buy, while heart disease is quite common. Nonsmokers get lung cancer at one twentieth of the rate of smokers, while heart disease is a major cause of death in both groups.

Many studies have shown that nicotine addicts smoke until they have absorbed enough nicotine to satisfy their craving. This means that they will smoke more cigarettes if the cigarettes contain lower concentrations of nicotine. This, in turn, means that they will be subjected to more of the “tars” (the cancer-causing ingredients of the smoke) in their attempt to get their usual dosage of nicotine (the ingredient responsible for heart disease).

Thus they will buy more cigarettes, maintain their exposure to heart disease and increase their chances of developing cancer and thus their overall chance of dying. And for us nonsmokers, the effect will be to increase our exposure to second-hand smoke.

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