With a year to go until Australia’s first-ever legalised smoking ban, scientists have found some potentially carcinogenic chemicals in some cigarette smoke.
Key points:Scientists say some chemicals can be found in cigarette smoke, but it is not known how much they cause cancerDr Michael Stroud, an epidemiologist with the Australian National University, said there were a range of possible causesThe Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) said it had not yet received data on how many deaths from smoking-related disease occurred.
But the scientists found several chemicals were found in some cigarettes.
They found that among the chemicals in cigarette cigarette smoke was the carcinogenic compound, 2,3-dimethylcyclohexane-2-yl (2,3DHCE), which is found in many plants and is known to cause cancer.
“It is thought that the risk of cancer is increased when 2, 3DHCEs are present in the tobacco smoke,” Dr Stroud said.
“The main reason for this is that these compounds are known to be in tobacco plants and are metabolised by the body to form 2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodophenyl-cyclo-diol, which is carcinogenic.”
The scientists used a variety of tests to try and find out how much of the chemicals were in cigarette or cigarette smoke and how much was in the cigarette.
The results, published in the journal Science, show that there were two different types of 2,.DHC and 3,3′-dimethyl cyclohexanes.
“In general, we were able to find that the concentrations in the cigarettes we tested were very low, and the concentrations of these compounds were very high in the smoke from cigarettes that were smoked by smokers,” Dr Sattar said.
It was the first time scientists had identified concentrations of some chemicals in the smoking smoke of cigarettes.
“One of the most significant results was that the levels of these chemicals were significantly higher in the samples from smokers than from non-smokers,” he said.
Dr Stroud and his colleagues have previously identified some of the compounds that were found to cause breast cancer in smokers.
The study found the chemicals had been detected in the DNA of smokers and non-smoking controls.
But it did not say how much exposure the chemicals could cause in the human body.
“Although smoking has long been associated with many diseases, including cancer, it has never been established whether certain exposures can cause cancer in humans,” Dr Dutton said.
The scientists are now working with other scientists to further investigate the risks of smoking-associated chemicals.