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Nicotine may accelerate atherosclerosis, may be as dangerous as tar
Date:9/13/2007

This compares to the two regular cigarettes studied -- 2R4F and Quest 1, with nicotine yields of 1 and 0.6 mg per cigarette, respectively. Eclipse and Quest cigarettes are marketed with the implication that they may be less harmful or addictive than conventional cigarettes. Quest cigarettes purportedly provide smokers the opportunity to taper their nicotine consumption by progressively moving to lower nicotine cigarettes. 2R4F is a research cigarette supplied by the University of Kentucky.

The study found that mice exposed to smoke from low-nicotine cigarettes had significantly smaller atherosclerotic lesions, compared to those exposed to regular cigarettes but still larger than lesions in control mice not exposed to cigarette smoke, which showed the least evidence of atherosclerosis. The accelerating effects of smoking on lesions was seen early, within weeks of smoke exposure.

"While our study seems to suggest that low-nicotine cigarettes are safer, we also know that smokers adjust their smoking habits to maintain their level of nicotine. In other words, if you switch to a low-nicotine product, you will probably increase the number of cigarettes you smoke, or change the way you smoke to get more nicotine out of each cigarette. The best thing to do is quit," says Dr. Catanzaro.

Although Quest 1, Quest 3 and 2R4F cigarettes all have the same tar yield (10 mg/cigarette), mice exposed to smoke from the high-nicotine 2R4F and Quest 1 cigarettes developed larger lesions than did mice exposed to smoke from Quest 3, which has the lowest nicotine content of all the products tested. According to the Weill Cornell investigators, this finding points to the special role of nicotine in promoting arteriosclerosis.

Researchers also found that iPF2alphaV, a marker for oxidative stress that has been linked with atherosclerosis in humans, increased proportionately with the level of nicotine. This finding may indicate that nicotine promotes ather
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Contact: Andrew Klein
ank2017@med.cornell.edu
212-821-0560
New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center/Weill Cornell Medical College
Source:Eurekalert

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