The new low nicotine Quest® cigarettes seems to have lulled smokers into a false sense of security according to a study conducted by researchers at the Transdisciplinary Tobacco Use Research Center of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.Results of the study have been published in the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviours.
The author of this study, Caryn Lerman, PhD, Associate Director for Cancer Control and Population Science at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania, has described how smokers have associated lower nicotine levels of the new Quest® cigarettes with lower health risks of smoking.
This brand of low-nicotine cigarettes manufactured by Vector Tobacco, Inc. have been marketed, as enabling smokers to reduce nicotine levels to eventually enjoy nicotine free smoking. Anti-smoking campaigners highlight health risks like cancer and emphysema as a result of long-term smoking or chewing tobacco. However worthy of mention is the fact that these diseases are a result of chemicals other than nicotine especially tar present in cigarettes. And the proportion of these chemicals have gone by unchanged in the low nicotine Quest ® cigarettes.
The study was conducted by a research team led by Lerman who examined the response of 200 smokers to the Quest ® cigarette low nicotine advertisements using a survey approach at a mall. The results revealed that many smokers made numerous incorrect inferences about lowered health risks as a result of the Quest ® cigarette marketing campaigns.
These results also revealed the urgency of public health awareness campaigns to reinforce the message that smoking any kind of cigarettes regardless of their nicotine levels can have deleterious effects on health."