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According to this International Herald Tribune story Big Tobacco is making each cigarette a bigger hit of Nicotine. One more reason for every Florida resident who believes cigarette smoking has caused a serious disease or condition to accept the invitation of the Florida Supreme Court to file an individual claim for damages. The deadline for filing a claim is fast approaching.

Cigarettes packing more nicotine and puffs, researchers say

Study suggests effort to raise levels

BOSTON: Data supplied by tobacco companies strongly suggest that manufacturers in recent years deliberately raised nicotine levels in cigarettes to more effectively hook smokers, Harvard University researchers conclude in a study that was to be released Thursday.

The companies increasingly used tobacco richer in nicotine, and also made design changes to give smokers more puffs per cigarette, according to the analysis from the Harvard School of Public Health. The report expands on a landmark Massachusetts Department of Public Health study issued last August showing that the amount of nicotine that could be inhaled from cigarettes increased an average of 10 percent from 1998 through 2004.

The Harvard study relies on information supplied by the industry. A 1996 state law required cigarette makers to test the nicotine that could be inhaled from their products, and Massachusetts ordered the use of machines that simulate a typical smoker’s puffing.

Massachusetts regulations also require cigarette companies to provide other information to the Department of Public Health related to the delivery of nicotine, a substance that makes smoking more addictive and pleasurable. The state mandated companies to provide measures of nicotine concentration in tobacco, the number of puffs yielded by each cigarette, and the design of the filter.

One anti-tobacco campaigner expressed no doubt about what caused the changes.

“The tobacco industry is clearly looking to addict people quickly and to keep them heavily addicted by making it really, really hard for them to quit,” said Diane Pickles, executive director of Tobacco Free Massachusetts, an advocacy group not involved with the study.

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