Apparently, just about only thing "light" about cigarettes who are advertised that way is the wording in the ad itself.
According to a news release from the University of California at Los Angeles, the latest research indicates that so-called light cigarettes deliver nearly as much nicotine to the brain as regular cigarettes.
UCLA psychiatry professor Dr Arthur L. Brody and his colleagues found that even the smallest amount of nicotine in a person's system will activate a significant percentage of the brain's nicotine receptors. It is the receptors in the brain that lead to nicotine addiction.
Brody and his colleagues looked at the effect on the brain of a type of cigarette called a de-nicotised cigarette, which contains only a fraction of nicotine (0.05 milligrams) in both light and regular cigarettes.
What the study found
They found that even that low a nicotine level is enough to occupy a sizable percentage of receptors. "The two take-home messages are that very little nicotine is needed to occupy a substantial portion of brain nicotine receptors," Brody said, "and cigarettes with less nicotine than regular cigarettes, such as 'light' cigarettes, still occupy most brain nicotine receptors."
And even though de-nicotinised cigarettes activate about 66% fewer receptors in the brain than light cigarettes, it's still enough to 'light up' almost 25% of them, Brody says. "Researchers, clinicians and smokers themselves should consider that fact when trying to quit," he concludes.
The UCLA study is in the current online edition of the International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology. – (HealthDay News, September 2008)
Light cigarettes, heavy toll
Electronic cigarettes poisonous