People who roll their own cigarettes are more addicted than those who smoke the readymade variety, reveals new research.
Amy Lewis of the Victoria University has found that cigarettes contain a number of addictive elements within the tar, in addition to the commonly cited nicotine.
"This is concerning for roll-your-own smokers as New Zealand loose leaf tobacco has a significantly higher ratio of tar to nicotine than manufactured cigarettes," Stuff.co.nz quoted her as saying.
"The vast majority of work done to date focuses only on nicotine and how it impacts on addictive pathways in the brain but my work shows that other components in tobacco also play a big part," she said.
Her research looked at the effect that other, non-nicotine, components of tobacco smoke have on enzymes such as monoamine oxidase, which breaks down brain neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine and adrenalin, affecting people's mood.
In addition to being exposed to higher levels of tar, Lewis said roll-your-own smokers tended to have habits which increased their level of addiction, including not using filters and drawing more intensively.
Lewis said the study may shed more light on why people get hooked on cigarettes and help develop new strategies to help people quit.
"It's a bit like watching an orchestra at work - there are so many different brain pathways all working together to establish and fortify tobacco addiction," she added.