Are you aware of what you are smoking? If no then you are not alone. Majority of the US people who smoke are not aware of tobacco product use and its associated health risks even though they report having looked for relevant information, researchers report.
The majority of the US public wants easy access to information about chemicals in cigarettes and other tobacco products. “Surprisingly, our results reveal that groups one might presume to be the least psychologically motivated to look for this information, young adults and smokers, were more likely to say that they had previously looked for this information,” said Marcella Boynton, first study author from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Researchers suggest that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expand its messaging activities so that information about these constituents reaches all segments of the US population.
More than a quarter of adults reported having looked for information on the different components of tobacco products, many of which are known to be poisonous or cancer causing. However, with the exception of nicotine, most respondents were largely unaware of which constituents are present in cigarette smoke.
Over half of respondents indicated that they would like relevant information to be available on cigarette packs, and 28.7 per cent would prefer to access that information online. “By making tobacco chemical information available to the public and tobacco industry practice more transparent, those seeking this information may be less likely to start smoking and more likely to quit because they will be better informed about the toxic chemicals present ,” explained Boynton in a paper published in the journal BMC Public Health.
The team conducted a nationally-representative survey among 5,014 US adults aged 18 years and above. Given the large number of chemicals in tobacco, future research into a wider range of constituents is needed to inform efforts to regulate tobacco use and communicate its risks, the researchers noted.