OSU researcher: Some cigarette filters may be to blame for rise in cancer

(COLUMBUS, Ohio) - Experts at Ohio State University are asking for new federal regulations on the holes placed near the filters on cigarettes.

Dr. Peter Shields, deputy director of Ohio State's Comprehensive Cancer Center-Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Institute, says the holes around the cigarette mouthpiece were originally developed to make the cigarette taste smoother and make smokers think the smoke they were inhaling was less harmful.

According to a newly published study, “light” cigarettes appear to be largely to blame for an increase in cases and deaths of a type of lung cancer known as adenocarcinoma.

However, Dr. Shields says the holes actually allow the cigarette to burn slower and at a lower temperature, and because the smoke is diluted with air, smokers often inhale longer, forcing more toxic chemicals deeper into the lungs.

The report comes as the overall rate of lung cancer continues to decline in the United States, and experts believe Adenocarcinoma--the most common type of lung cancer--is due at least in part to the filter holes.

Shields is joining other oncologists and cancer researchers around the nation in calling for new federal regulations on the holes placed near the filters of cigarettes, if not an outright ban of them.