Cigarette Additives – Findings Question Motives

A brief lab report in today’s JAMA refers to an e-pub ahead of print in the Am Journal of Public Health on the Pharmacological and Chemical Effects of Cigarette Additives, including activity to camouflage the odor of cigarette smoke, enhance or maintain nicotine delivery, make it easier for cigarette smoke to penetrate the lungs, and reduce coughing.

Documents discussed in the article related to industry research of these additives suggest a motive geared toward product enhancement rather than harm reduction: “Philip Morris’s research into EEG, PREP, and CSERP shows that the tobacco company attempted to quantify “impact” and to monitor the neurological effects of specific additives to maximize “cigarette acceptance” (which encompasses factors such as cigarette “satisfaction” and is influenced by a number of elements, including primary reinforcement [e.g., nicotine addiction] and secondary reinforcement[115]).”

Can we ever trust this industry to conduct true harm-reduction research purely for harm reduction sake? Can an academic health center – whose mission is to protect and promote the health of the public – ethically accept research funding knowing the data could potentially (even if the link is not obvious to or intended by the investigator) be used to enhance the addictive potential and/or lethality of this industry’s product?

1 Comment »

  1. drugmonkey said

    “Can an academic health center – whose mission is to protect and promote the health of the public – ethically accept research funding knowing the data could potentially (even if the link is not obvious to or intended by the investigator) be used to enhance the addictive potential and/or lethality of this industry’s product?”

    careful going down this road, writedit. suppose someone’s work was critical to development of any pharmaceutical product? And suppose that product was later found to have unacceptable health-risks post-approval? Is the scientist guilty? Suppose said scientist had actually noticed in early going that there may be some aspects of the system involved that might have cautionary or adverse implications for development but, since those were in domains outside of the primary academic subfield simply chose to work on the other, more positive-leaning, aspects of the science?

    Not sure we’re talking the same thing here, but my clarification & comment on your point here will need to wait a couple of weeks.

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