A question of standards
More suggestions of bad behaviour by tobacco companies. Maybe
ANOTHER round has just been fought in the battle between tobacco companies and those who regard them as spawn of the devil. In a paper just published in the Lancet, with the provocative title “Secret science: tobacco industry research on smoking behaviour and cigarette toxicity”, David Hammond, of *Waterloo University in Canada and Neil Collishaw and Cynthia Callard, two members of Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada, a lobby group, criticise the behaviour of British American Tobacco (BAT). They say the firm considered manipulating some of its products in order to （1）make them low-tar in the eyes of officialdom while they actually delivered high tar and nicotine levels to smokers.
It was and is no secret, as BAT points out, that people smoke low-tar cigarettes differently from high-tar ones. The reason is that they want a decent dose of the nicotine which tobacco smoke contains. They therefore *pull a larger volume of air through the cigarette when they *draw on a low-tar rather than a high-tar variety. （2）The extra volume makes up for the lower concentration of the drug.
But a burning cigarette is a complex thing, and that extra volume has some unexpected consequences. In particular, a bigger draw is generally a faster draw. （3）That pulls a higher proportion of the air inhaled through the burning tobacco, rather than through the paper sides of the cigarette. This, in turn, means more smoke per unit volume, and thus more tar and nicotine. The nature of the nicotine may change, too, with more of it being in a form that is easy for the body to absorb.
According to Dr Hammond and his colleagues, a series of studies conducted by BAT's researchers between 1972 and 1994 quantified much of this. The standardised way of analysing cigarette smoke, as *laid down by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), which regulates everything from computer code to greenhouse gases, uses a machine to make 35-millilitre puffs, drawn for two seconds once a minute. The firm's researchers, by contrast, found that real smokers draw 50-70ml per puff, and do so twice a minute. （4）Dr Hammonds's conclusion is drawn from the huge body of documents disgorged by the tobacco industry as part of various legal settlements that have taken place in the past few years, mainly as a result of disputes with the authorities in the United States.
Dr Hammond suggests, however, the firm went beyond merely investigating how people smoked. A series of internal documents from the late 1970s and early 1980s shows that BAT at least thought about applying this knowledge to cigarette design. A research report from 1979 puts it thus: “There are three major design features which can be used either individually or in combination to manipulate delivery levels; filtration, paper permeability, and filter-tip ventilation.” A conference paper from 1983 says, “The challenge would be to reduce the mainstream nicotine determined by standard smoking-machine measurement while increasing the amount that would actually be absorbed by the smoker”. Another conference paper, from 1984, says: “（5）We should strive to achieve this effect without appearing to have a cigarette that cheats the league table. Ideally it should appear to be no different from a normal cigarette...It should also be capable of delivering up to 100% more than its machine delivery.”
None of the documents discovered by the three researchers shows that BAT actually did redesign its cigarettes in this way, and the firm denies that it did. However, BAT's own data show that some of its cigarettes delivered far more nicotine and tar to machines which had the characteristics of real smokers than to those which ran on ISO standards. In the most extreme example, in a test carried out in 1987, the “real smoking” machine drew 86% more nicotine and 114% more tar from Player's Extra Light than the ISO machine detected, although smoke intake was only 27% higher.
三名研究人员发现的文献中没有一篇表明英美公司确曾采用这种方法对其生产的卷烟进行了改良，而且该公司也矢口否认这么干过。英美公司内部资料显示，其生产的某些卷烟向机器（具有实际吸烟者特征）释放的尼古丁和焦油量远远超出ISO标准。最为极端的例子是，在1987年进行的一项实验中，“真吸烟”机器从Player's Extra Light牌卷烟中吸收的尼古丁和焦油量比ISO仪器实际检测到的量分别高出86%和114%，而烟雾摄入量仅高27%。
（6）Regardless of how this [b][color=#0000FF]*came about, the irony is that low-tar brands may have ended up causing more health problems than high-tar ones.[/color][/b] As one of BAT's medical consultants put it as early as 1978, “Perhaps the most important determinant of the risk to health or to a particular aspect of health is the extent to which smoke is inhaled by smokers. If so, then deeply inhaled smoke from low-tar-delivery cigarettes might be more harmful than uninhaled smoke from high-tar cigarettes.” The firm, meanwhile, points out that the ISO test has been regarded as unreliable since 1967, and says its scientists have been part of a panel that is working on a new ISO standard.
pull: 深吸; 对烟或饮料大口的吸或喝
draw on: 吸收
lay down: 规定，制定
come about: 发生
（1） make them low-tar in the eyes of officialdom
（2） The extra volume makes up for the lower concentration of the drug.
（3） That pulls a higher proportion of the air inhaled through the burning tobacco, rather than through the paper sides of the cigarette.
（4） Dr Hammonds's conclusion is drawn from the huge body of documents disgorged by the tobacco industry as part of various legal settlements that have taken place in the past few years, mainly as a result of disputes with the authorities in the United States.
（5） We should strive to achieve this effect without appearing to have a cigarette that cheats the league table.
（6） Regardless of how this came about, the irony is that low-tar brands may have ended up causing more health problems than high-tar ones.