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Researchers create healthier cigarette

Jan. 4, 2012 at 12:35 AM
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ITHACA, N.Y., Jan. 4 (UPI) -- U.S. researchers found lycopene and grape seed extract drastically reduced the amount of cancer-causing free radicals produced in cigarettes.

Dr. Boris Dzilkovski at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., said from a healthcare perspective, the best cigarette is no cigarette, but a less toxic cigarette may be helpful for the millions of people a year who try to quit smoking.

"The implications of this technique can help reduce the hazardous effects of tobacco smoke because free radicals are a major group of carcinogens," said Dzilkovski, a co-author of the study.

Using the natural antioxidant extracts -- lycopene, the bright red pigment and phytochemical found in tomatoes and other red fruits and vegetable and grape seed extract -- in cigarette filters, drastically reduced the amount of cancer-causing free radicals passing through the filter, the researchers said.

The findings were published in the Journal of Visualized Experiments, a video journal. It is at:

http://www.jove.com/video/3406/a-protocol-for-detecting-and-scavenging-gas-phase-free-radicals-in-mainstream-cigarette-smoke.

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