Antioxidants found in ingredients like green tea, pomegranate and blueberries are in your skin crème, your diet pills, your yogurt and your hair products. The newest place they’re cropping up? Cigarettes!
To me this seems a little like adding strawberries to mercury polluted fish, but there’s actually scientific evidence to show antioxidants in cigarettes can make a cigarette healthier. A recent study published in the Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE) found antioxidants lycopene and grade seed extract in cigarette filters were able to decrease the amount of free-radicals passing through. Translation: you’re breathing in less cancer-causing free-radicals but still getting the same amount of nicotine. If you can’t quit smoking, at least trade up to these “cancer-lite” cigarettes in the future.
This isn’t the first time cigarette filter enhancements have been proposed, but previous ingredients were too pricey for consumers to ever consider buying. The next step for antioxidant cigarettes would be to show lower cancer incidence in a human clinical trial.
We’re excited because no matter how much education and money has been spent trying to decrease smoking, there will always be a population that smokes. Reducing their cancer rate will benefit society as well as the lives of smokers and their families.