Evidence is full of holes

Scientists from multiple institutions are gathering evidence to assist the US Food and Drug Administration in making a decision about whether to recommend design changes to filtered cigarettes, according to a Virginia Tech story published on medicalxpress.com.
The scientists, who include a group of addiction neuroscience researchers from the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute (VTCRI), are being funded by the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute.
Warren Bickel, the Virginia Tech Carilion behavioral health research professor and director of the VTCRI Addiction Recovery Research Center, along with VTCRI co-investigators and research assistant professors Mikhail Koffarnus and Jeff Stein, are said to be spearheading one of three integrated projects involving teams of multidisciplinary investigators who are charged with determining whether ventilated filters on cigarettes have been a boon or bane to public health.
VTCRI scientists will focus on how ventilated filters on cigarettes, product packaging and messaging have affected cigarette use, and how alternative nicotine delivery systems – such as electronic cigarettes – can be used to modify smoking behavior.
“My piece of the puzzle is to understand the role of filter ventilation on the likability and addictive potential of cigarettes,” said Bickel, who is also a professor in the Department of Psychology in Virginia Tech’s College of Science. “We are going to see how smokers respond to the same tobacco product, with and without filter ventilation. We want to understand the impact of the ventilated and unventilated products on how likely people will want to smoke. We also want to determine if filter ventilation reinforces smoking activity and thereby increases the likelihood of addiction.”
When they were introduced in the 1960s, ‘light cigarettes,’ which had tiny ventilation holes in the filters, were thought to be a safer, cleaner way to smoke because they purportedly lowered the amounts of tar and nicotine exposure.
However, a 2014 Surgeon General’s Report named ventilation in cigarette filters as a potential contributor to lung cancer.
And in 2017, an influential study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute recommended that the FDA consider regulating filter ventilation.
The story is at: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-03-scientists-unfiltered-truth-cigarettes.html.