Rolling tobacco is as damaging as conventional tobacco, according to a study by UIC Barcelona
The Research Group on the Evaluation of Health Determinants and Healthcare Policies at UIC Barcelona published the results in Environmental Research
The study also involved participation from specialists from the Catalan Institute for Oncology (ICO) the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL), Hospital Clinic Barcelona, the Faculty of Medicine in the University of Barcelona (UB), Pompeu Fabra University, the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park and the Catalan Network of Smoke Free Hospitals.
This project focused on a study of the most prevalent carcinogens in tobacco in the saliva of adults over 16 residing in Barcelona, and revealed that the concentration of tobacco-specific nitrosamines is similar in the saliva of smokers who consume rolling tobacco and those who consume conventional cigarettes.
In recent years an increase in the consumption of rolling tobacco has been detected, especially among young people, due to the fact the price is lower and there is a false belief that it is healthier and more natural. Specifically, in Europe the consumption of packet cigarettes dropped between 76 and 70% from 2014 to 2017, while the consumption of rolling tobacco grew by 23 to 24% over the same period.
Each year tobacco causes close to a million deaths due to cancer worldwide. In developed countries, 26% of deaths from cancer can be attributed to tobacco, according to data from the World Health Organisation. Faced with this situation, the authors of the study believe that increasing the price of rolling tobacco and making it similar to that of conventional cigarettes, so that it is no longer a cheaper alternative, could be an effective strategy to control its consumption, particularly among young people.