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Did you know: Sugar is added to cigarettes to reduce harshness?

sugar in cigarettes increases the toxicity of smoke
October 28, 2018

A recent study found out that only a small percentage of smokers is aware about the fact that their cigarettes contain added sugar.

“Although sugar is added to reduce the harshness of the of smoke, research has shown that it instead results in an increase in toxins”, suggests an article in journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research. But one simple question that arises in everyone’s mind is:

Why in the world is sugar added to cigarettes?

Because of a very simple fact that ‘pure’ cigarette smoke is very difficult to inhale.


If sugar is added to make inhaling easy, then what’s the issue?

Added sugars increase not only the amount of harmful chemicals in smoke but also the addictive potential of smoking.

The Study/Survey

Experts recruited 4,350 adult cigarette smokers from Amazon Mechanical Turk to participate in an online experiment on e-cigarette advertising.

At the end of the experiment, the participants answered 2 questions about added sugars in cigarettes: “Is sugar added to cigarettes?” and “Adding sugar to cigarettes increases toxins in cigarette smoke. Before this survey, had you ever heard of this effect of added sugar?”

Experts concluded that only 5.5% of survey-takers were aware that sugar was added to cigarettes. The proportion who knew this was never higher than 10% when participants were grouped by characteristics like gender, age, income, education level, race and ethnicity.


The conclusion can be very well summed up with the following lines from a health campaign ad in Australia- “Additives such as sugar and honey can hide the bitter taste of tobacco. But the damage cigarettes do can’t be hidden.”

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