This probably does not come as much of a surprise, but a new study now indicates that the pyrazine additives found in low tar/light cigarettes, as well as e-cigarettes, might actually reinforce the very same addictive qualities of nicotine and should, therefore, be strictly regulated. The study provides evidence that pyrazines have both sensory and pharmacological effects that act independently of, as well as in tandem with, nicotine. The study also lays claim that the tobacco industry developed these chemicals to make those low tar cigarette more flavourful and more smooth and, in the process, boosting their sales.
Now, nicotine dependence is a very complex process but, at its most fundamental, that process is caused by nicotine’s ability to elicit the release of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine, of course, is a chemical involved in arousal, mood change, and pleasure. The study says that regulatory officials need to make a better effort to draw a very clear distinction between chemicals that are ‘added’ to give the product taste ‘flavour’ and those added to shift the ‘experience’ of the product ie. smooth, richer, or, mellow.
The researchers write: “Chemosensory effects such as perceived smoothing and coolness (tactile) are associated with decreased aversion to smoking from the harshness and irritation of initial exposure to nicotine among novice smokers. Similar effects have been described for menthol. These effects might be a factor in smokers switching to ‘low-tar’ brands as an alternative to quitting smoking, going beyond the cognitive perception of reduced disease risk, to the emotive, physical perception that the smoke is ‘smoother’ and thus less harmful.” View full article
Study published in the online journal Tobacco Control
Gabe Lieb (13 June 2015) New study identifies discrepancies between e-cigarette labeling [news]. Retrieved from http://www.piercepioneer.com/new-study-identifies-discrepancies-between-e-cigarette-labeling/41679