The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are giving American smokers more incentive to quit. It turns out that American cigarette brands contain higher levels of carcinogens than foreign ones, according to a recent study completed by the organization.   

“We know that cigarettes from around the world vary in their ingredients and the way they are produced,” Dr. Jim Pirkle, Deputy Director for Science at CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health, said in a press release. “All of these cigarettes contain harmful levels of carcinogens, but these findings show that amounts of tobacco–specific nitrosamines differ from country to country, and U.S. brands are the highest in the study.”

The CDC’s study involved 126 people from the Canada, Australia, the U.S. and the U.K. Participants smoked representative popular brands from each country. U.S. brands tested in the study included Marlboro, Newport, Newport Light, Camel Light and Marlboro Menthol, according to

During the test, researchers measured chemical levels in the cigarette butts and in urine samples collected over a 24-hour period and discovered that U.S. brands contained higher levels of tobacco–specific nitrosamines (TSNAs are the main carcinogenic component of tobacco). Scientists also were able to, for the first time, better understand how much carcinogenic exposure a smoker’s mouth and lungs receive by measuring the TSNA that enters the mouth versus the amount that was broken down in the urine.

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Researchers reiterated that while U.S. brands may contain higher levels or carcinogens, all cigarettes are hazardous to a person’s health.

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