The tobacco industry's past role in weight control related to smoking.

Eur J Public Health 2012 Apr 7;22(2):234-7. Epub 2011 Apr 7.

Department of Ambulatory Care and Community Medicine, Lausanne University Hospital, Switzerland.

Background: Smoking is thought to produce an appetite-suppressing effect by many smokers. Thus, the fear of body weight gain often outweighs the perception of health benefits associated with smoking cessation, particularly in adolescents. We examined whether the tobacco industry played a role in appetite and body weight control related to smoking and smoking cessation.

Methods: We performed a systematic search within the archives of six major US and UK tobacco companies (American Tobacco, Philip Morris, RJ Reynolds, Lorillard, Brown & Williamson and British American Tobacco) that were Defendants in tobacco litigation settled in 1998. Findings are dated from 1949 to 1999.

Results: The documents revealed the strategies planned and used by the industry to enhance effects of smoking on weight and appetite, mostly by chemical modifications of cigarettes contents. Appetite-suppressant molecules, such as tartaric acid and 2-acetylpyridine were added to some cigarettes.

Conclusion: These tobacco companies played an active and not disclaimed role in the anti-appetite effects of smoking, at least in the past, by adding appetite-suppressant molecules into their cigarettes.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/ckr023DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3324592PMC
April 2012
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