BOSTON -- A study conducted by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has found that from 1998 to 2004, the level of nicotine inhaled from cigarettes has increased by an average of 10 percent, even in cigarettes that were branded as "light," The Boston Globe reported.
"We in public health have tried to spend a lot of time figuring out why people don't stop smoking," Lois Keithly, director for the Massachusetts Tobacco Control Program, told the newspaper. "It is more difficult to quit when there is a higher amount of nicotine in the cigarette."
Tobacco control specialists believe that the findings could reflect a trend nationwide, the Globe reported.
The study analyzed 166 different cigarette brands and found that of those, 92 of them had increased the amount of inhaled nicotine from 1998 to 2004. Twelve other brands remained stable and another dozen showed a decrease in nicotine inhalation levels.
For the year 2004, Newport filtered cigarettes passed Camel and became the cigarette brand with the highest amount of inhaleable nicotine, 70 percent above the average, according to the study. The lowest content was found in Doral Ultra-Light King and Winston Ultra-Light King soft packs.
Representatives from Lorillard Tobacco Co., Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco declined to comment on the issue or the study conducted.