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J Appl Toxicol. 2006 Nov-Dec;26(6):480-3.

High levels of carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in 20 brands of Chinese cigarettes.

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Department of Pharmacology, University of Florence, Viale Pieraccini 6, 50139 Florence, Italy.


Tar and nicotine levels have been made to conform to EU standards as of 1 July 2004, but data on tobacco-derived carcinogenic compounds, such as PAH, in Chinese cigarettes are lacking in the literature. Levels of tar, nicotine, carbon monoxide and PAH were measured in 20 cigarette brands purchased in China between 2003 and 2004. Higher nicotine and tar levels were found in Chinese cigarettes than in European brands just 3 months before the above deadline; carcinogenic PAH levels were about 1.5 fold higher than in European cigarettes, but analysed singly, the mean value of benzo(a)pyrene (B(a)P) and dibenzo(a,h)anthracene (DBA), the most potent carcinogenic PAH yields, were 2.4 and 4.4 fold higher, respectively. Tar levels were well correlated with carcinogenic PAH (r = 0.53, P < 0.01), thus providing an easily measurable parameter for ranking various cigarette brands in developing countries where more sophisticated techniques might not be feasible for lack of funds and expertise.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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