Levels of cadmium in different brands of cigerettes sold in Abakaliki metropolis of Nigeria.


Augustine A. Uwakwe* and Udu Ibiam

Cadmium (Cd) is recognized as category 1 carcinogen by the international agency for research on cancer based on its relationship to pulmonary tumors. Cigarette smoking is one major source of Cd in the environment. Levels of Cd in 19 different brands of cigarettes (both local and foreign made) sold in Abakaliki town were determined using atomic absorption spectrophotometer (AAS) (205). The results showed varied levels of Cd in different brands of cigarettes analyzed. On the average, locally made cigarettes contained higher levels of Cd than the foreign brands, except Dorchester which contained 0.259 ug/g. London, Benson and Hedges and Marlboro red contained 0.389, 0.680 and 0.329 ug/g Cd, respectively, the results also showed that different brands of cigarette contained varied quantities of tobacco per stick. However, the quantity of tobacco per stick of cigarette did not correlate with the level of Cd it contained. Brands like excel, green spot, business club, consulate, London, Benson and Hedges and Marlboro which contained 0.66, 0.821, 0.786, 0.670, 0.736 and 0.650 g of tobacco/stick of cigarette, respectively, had 0.043, 0.087, 0.043, 0.1517, 0.3899, 0.3863 and 0.1299 g of Cd, respectively. In addition to emphasizing the danger of cigarette smoking, the results highlight the Cd-toxicity potential of each brand of cigarette. Thus some brands can be more poisonous than others based on their Cd contents. Smoking in public places should be banned to reduce the public health consequences of Cd intoxication due to uncontrolled emission of Cd into the environment via cigarette smoking.

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