A group of scientists from America have come up with what they are calling less toxic and healthier cigarettes.
The team from Cornell University in New York have fortified cigarette filters in such a way that reduces the amount of toxins and cancerous chemicals that pass through them into the body.
A study found that after they added natural ingredients with antioxidant properties to the filter – namely grape seed extract and lycopene – the number of cancer causing properties and chemicals that are produced from cigarettes are significantly reduced.
However, the scientists said the safest and healthiest path for smokers to follow is still kicking the habit altogether.
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Despite this advice, there are hopes that the discovery could lead to the production of healthier cigarette filters and assist people in their quest to give up smoking.
Lycopene, one of the ingredients used in the revolutionary filters, is the name for the vivid red pigment that can be found in red fruits and vegetables, such as tomatoes, papayas and watermelons.
Although this is not the first investigation that has looked at making cigarettes healthier, the additives and components that have previously been identified at making them less toxic were haemoglobin and activated carbon.
Both these ingredients are fairly expensive and although they can reduce the number of free radicals in cigarettes by up to 90 percent, no company has spent the money required to take them to a commercial stage.
However, the ingredients added to the filters by the Cornell team are much more affordable.
Dr. Boris Dzilkovski, one of the authors of the study’s report, said: “The implications of this technique can help reduce the hazardous effects of tobacco smoke because free radicals are a major group of carcinogens.”
The results of the study have been published in the Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE) and the Content Director of the publication, Dr. Aaron Kolski-Andreaco, is confident the research could see healthier cigarettes emerge on the tobacco market.
He said: “Practically, this research could lead to an alternative type of cigarette filter with a free radical scavenging additive.
“It could lead to a less harmful cigarette,” he added.
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