Less Hazardous Cigarettes

This special section of the scientific portal presents information both current and past surrounding the development, marketing, and legislation of less hazardous cigarettes


Historical Documents
Current Developments
Supplementary Documents
Media Resources


Between 1968 and 1979 the American National Cancer Institute funded large scale studies aimed at producing a safer cigarette.

These studies demonstrated as early as 1974 that:

"Cigarettes can be engineered to produce smoke which, on an equal dose basis, can produce higher or lower carcinogenic response and other pathologic manifestations in animals. Choice and manipulation of appropriate tobacco types, engineering of the cigarette and selective filtration will permit removal of a considerable portion of pathogenic smoke components, and still maintain consumer acceptability."

"This should result in smoking products which are intrinsically less injurious to human health, over and above the simple reduction of tar and nicotine."

The program was cancelled in 1979 and "smoking products which are intrinsically less injurious to human health" were effectively buried for almost 30 years, potentially consigning millions of smokers to death, if death rates promulgated by antismoking authorities are taken at face value. In stark contrast to the claims of Tobacco Control that we would see a "smokefree America by the year 2000," there are still over 70 million smokers in the U.S., and in many areas worldwide, smoking rates are in fact rising. The World Health Organization states that a fifth of humanity now smokes.

In 2001, the U.S. Institute of Medicine issued a report calling for a reintroduction of less hazardous products and in August 2008 a bill was introduced to Congress that, if successful, will allow the marketing of such products under the control of the FDA.

The Suppressed Historical Documents

Experimental Sets »»

This series of studies, "Toward Less Hazardous Cigarettes", charts the efforts of the National Cancer Institute and other scientific bodies throughout the world in the development of less hazardous cigarettes for human consumption.

Status Reports »»

This set of documents gives status reports throughout the period of the program covering issues such as accomplishments, funding, reviews, management, and publications.

Current Developments

Less Hazardous Smokes »»

A 2003 report from Dr. Gori arguing a case for the role of less hazardous cigarettes in the future of tobacco control. The report relies heavily upon 2001 evidence from the U.S. Institute of Medicine surrounding the need to avoid prohibition in favour of realistic goals toward safer products.

'Cigarette Regulation Will Not Go Up in Smoke' »»

The proposed legislation in the U.S. to hand the control of tobacco to the FDA now looks set to be passed. In this report Dr. Gori promotes the opinion that the control of nicotine content should not be decided by the FDA and that the arguments for tobacco control to adopt the promotion of safer cigarettes rather than a dangerous drive towards prohibition is the only way forward.

Key points from the Proposed U.S. Legislation »»

Aspects of the proposed legislation with regard to the development and promotion of less hazardous cigarettes. The full act can be viewed from the link further down this page.

Key points from the Institute of Medicine report »»

Examination of the key points and implications of the IOM report. The full 650 page report can be viewed from the link further down this page.

State-controlled Tobacco »»

This document presents the position of Forces International with regard to the proposed legislation of state control over tobacco and the future of less hazardous cigarettes.

Supplementary Documents

U.S. Institute Of Medicine Report »»

Clearing The Smoke. Assessing The Science Base For Tobacco Harm Reduction.

Proposed U.S. Legislation »»

Proposed Act HR 1108: An Act to protect the public health by providing the Food and Drug Administration with certain authority to regulate tobacco products. August 1, 2008.

Media Resources

Better Cigarettes Are Possible - Part One (17:37)

Dr Gio Gori

The first part of an interview between Forces International and Dr Gio Batta Gori, former Deputy Director of the division of cancer cause and prevention of the United States National Cancer Institute and former Director of the Smoking and Health program towards the development of less hazardous cigarettes.

The discussion surrounds the feasibility of less hazardous cigarettes and the progress made over the past 50 years, the truth about "light" cigarettes and the possibilities for less hazardous cigarettes in the future.

Better Cigarettes Are Possible - Part Two (11:20)

Dr Gio Gori

Part 2 of these interviews with Dr Gori discusses the implications of denying the further development and marketing of less hazardous cigarettes since 1979, the 2001 Institute of Medicine Report that concluded that less hazardous cigarettes are feasible and should be pursued in accordance with the findings of the smoking and health program that was halted in 1979 and the proposed U.S. legislation that would see the production and marketing of less hazardous cigarettes being controlled by the Federal Drugs Administration.

Also covered are the effects of nicotine including addiction and the dose response relationship.

Better Cigarettes Are Possible - Part Three (21:55)

Dr Gio Gori

The final part of the interview with Dr Gori concludes the discussions on the effects of nicotine, the efforts of the abolitionists within the anti-smoking movement and the effects of safe levels of exposure on the arguments against ETS covering the science that shows ETS exposure to be 7 500 times less than the known safe level of active smoking.

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