Shock for NZ smokers
By Martin Johnston
4:00 AM Monday Jun 21, 2010

New Zealand smokers are exposed to much more nicotine from cigarettes than are Australians, possibly because of a preference for high-nicotine brands on this side of the Tasman.

The results come from a tobacco industry study, which also found New Zealand smokers are exposed to the greatest average amount of tar out of 5703 smokers in eight countries.

Nicotine is the addictive part of tobacco smoke, and tar is an irritant thought to be a major cause of lung cancer.

New Zealand researchers are lobbying MPs to make tobacco companies cut the nicotine level, eventually to the level where tobacco will not be addictive.

The study by international company British American Tobacco's researchers in Britain tested 80,000 butts supplied from smoked cigarettes by smokers in eight countries. Fifteen cigarette brands were tested in each country, to reflect the range available.

More here.