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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(4), 429; doi:10.3390/ijerph13040429

Are Filter-Tipped Cigarettes Still Less Harmful than Non-Filter Cigarettes?—A Laser Spectrometric Particulate Matter Analysis from the Non-Smokers Point of View

Institute of Occupational Medicine, Social Medicine and Environmental Medicine, Goethe-University, Theodor-Stern-Kai 7, Haus 9b, Frankfurt am Main 60590, Germany
These authors contributed equally to this work.
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 24 January 2016 / Revised: 9 April 2016 / Accepted: 11 April 2016 / Published: 16 April 2016
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Abstract

Background: Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is associated with human morbidity and mortality, particularly chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD and lung cancer. Although direct DNA-damage is a leading pathomechanism in active smokers, passive smoking is enough to induce bronchial asthma, especially in children. Particulate matter (PM) demonstrably plays an important role in this ETS-associated human morbidity, constituting a surrogate parameter for ETS exposure. Methods: Using an Automatic Environmental Tobacco Smoke Emitter (AETSE) and an in-house developed, non-standard smoking regime, we tried to imitate the smoking process of human smokers to demonstrate the significance of passive smoking. Mean concentration (Cmean) and area under the curve (AUC) of particulate matter (PM2.5) emitted by 3R4F reference cigarettes and the popular filter-tipped and non-filter brand cigarettes “Roth-Händle” were measured and compared. The cigarettes were not conditioned prior to smoking. The measurements were tested for Gaussian distribution and significant differences. Results: Cmean PM2.5 of the 3R4F reference cigarette: 3911 µg/m3; of the filter-tipped Roth-Händle: 3831 µg/m3; and of the non-filter Roth-Händle: 2053 µg/m3. AUC PM2.5 of the 3R4F reference cigarette: 1,647,006 µg/m3·s; of the filter-tipped Roth-Händle: 1,608,000 µg/m3·s; and of the non-filter Roth-Händle: 858,891 µg/m3·s. Conclusion: The filter-tipped cigarettes (the 3R4F reference cigarette and filter-tipped Roth-Händle) emitted significantly more PM2.5 than the non-filter Roth-Händle. Considering the harmful potential of PM, our findings note that the filter-tipped cigarettes are not a less harmful alternative for passive smokers. Tobacco taxation should be reconsidered and non-smoking legislation enforced. View Full-Text
Keywords: particulate matter; cigarette smoke; tobacco taxation; Automatic Environmental Tobacco Smoke Emitter particulate matter; cigarette smoke; tobacco taxation; Automatic Environmental Tobacco Smoke Emitter
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MDPI and ACS Style

Schulz, M.; Gerber, A.; Groneberg, D.A. Are Filter-Tipped Cigarettes Still Less Harmful than Non-Filter Cigarettes?—A Laser Spectrometric Particulate Matter Analysis from the Non-Smokers Point of View. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 429.

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