Filtered cigarettes caused most increase in common lung cancer: study

Smokers widely perceive ''light'' cigarettes as less dangerous than the regular ones, but according to a  new study, they could be even more harmful than traditional smokes.

While lung cancer rates had declined, the rates of adenocarcinoma, now the most common type of lung cancer hasrisen dramatically over the past few decades.

According to the study, light cigarettes are likely to blame.

Scientists at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center's Arthur G James Cancer Hospital and Richard J Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC - James), and five other institutions, researched the phenomenon.

According to Dr Peter Shields, a medical oncologist at OSUCCC – James, who specialises in lung cancer, and study author, the research showed the relationship between the additional holes in light cigarettes and the increased rates of adenocarcinoma.

On examination of existing studies including clinical trials performed on humans, Shields' team found that the holes let smokers inhale more carcinogens, toxins, and mutagens as against regular cigarettes.

''What is especially concerning is that these holes are still added to virtually all cigarettes that are smoked today,'' said Shields.

About 50 years ago, cigarettes with more holes in filters were introduced to make light, or high-ventilation, cigarettes.

The move was a strategy to market the products as healthier, but it fooled smokers and the public into thinking the cigarettes were safer.

"Modern cigarettes are more risky when it comes to lung cancer," said Shields.

"The design of cigarette filters that have ventilation can make the cigarettes even more dangerous because those holes can change how the tobacco burns, allowing smokers to inhale more smoke and think that the smoke is safer because it is smoother," Shields explained.

The report involved around 3,300 tobacco studies and internal tobacco company research. According to the investigators, their analysis "strongly suggests", that the filters had contributed to the adenocarcinoma increase.