Scientists from British American Tobacco are testing cigarettes that reduce exposure to some toxins in smoke, Time.com reports.
They tested the new products on healthy adults, and found they lowered exposure to many dangerous toxins, the scientists report in Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology.
The study included three prototype cigarettes, which use different technologies to reduce toxins. All 250 smokers in the study first smoked regular cigarettes for 15 days. The group was then divided; one group continued to smoke regular cigarettes for an additional four weeks, while the test group smoked the experimental cigarettes during that period.
All study participants had their urine and saliva tested for markers of tobacco exposure. Smokers using the test cigarettes had lower amounts of toxins in their urine or saliva, some by more than 50 percent, the article notes.
Not all of the toxins were reduced, the researchers acknowledged. They also said they do not have data to prove how the lower amount of toxin exposure would translate into health benefits.
The company says it is conducting a six-month follow-up study. International Scientific Affairs Manager Marina Murphy told Time.com, “We do not know if the reductions can be maintained over the long term. When you make these changes, there is a possibly you will change how people smoke. You don’t want to change something in the tobacco smoke and have them smoke more.”