The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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Big Tobacco’ angered by STJ research

The Pharmaceutical Sciences department at St. John’s University recently presented a study on endotoxins, a substance produced by bacteria that researchers have found to be present in cigarette smoke. These findings are important because cigarette manufacturers are not allowed to market products with endotoxins that are inhaled.

“The tobacco companies were upset with these findings,” said professor Joseph Ceretta, who took part in the research.

The study was presented at the Society of Toxicology’s annual convention, which took place March 5-9 in San Diego. Professor Cerreta and Professor Jerome Cantor, along with other faculty and graduate students, conducted the research. The study, which was compiled from basic research, can be used by both the tobacco industry and health experts to further their understanding of endotoxins in cigarettes.

The main presenter, Garish Kulkarni, who received his master’s degree in toxicology from St. John’s, defended the research against the tobacco industry’s disputes of the findings.

“[Kulkarni] didn’t lose his cool in defending the research against the tobacco industry’s attacks,” said Professor Louis Trombetta, chair of the department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. “The faculty who conducted the research didn’t see the need to jump in because he answered their questions so well.”

Endotoxins come in various forms and can occur naturally in the air. The study produced by St. John’s shows that the endotoxins in cigarettes could very well lead to serious health problems.

“We studied the effects of endotoxin- on hamsters, and we found that endotoxin precipitates pulmonary inflammation, a critical factor in lung injury,” Cerreta said.

Another team of scientists from Lund University in Sweden also found that endotoxins produced in cigarette smoke are the most aggressive form of endotoxins among the various types that exist.

It has been long known that cigarettes can cause poor health, especially in the lung. However researchers are still trying to determine the exact causes of lung disease caused by cigarettes. Scientists are trying to link the damage caused by endotoxins to lung diseases such as asthma and bronchitis.

These findings do little to help the tobacco industry, which has seen an increase of anti-smoking legislation across the country. Hundreds of cities have instituted partial and total smoking bans in public spaces. New York City’s ban on smoking in bars has become infamous, and New Jersey recently passed an expansive smoking ban in many public places, excluding the gaming floors of casinos.

Many students here at St. John’s continue to smoke despite knowledge that cigarettes are harmful.

“I know cigarettes are bad for me, but it is hard to stop,” said Emily Hausman, a senior History major. “Endotoxins or not, I don’t plan on quitting.”

Other students recognize the danger of smoking and chose not to.

“I am glad they have found more information about the causes of lung disease in cigarettes,” said Adam Smith, a senior English major. “Hopefully they can help people who already smoke, like my parents”see the need to jump in because he answered their questions so well.”

Endotoxins come in various forms and can occur naturally in the air. The study produced by St. John’s shows that the endotoxins in cigarettes could very well lead to serious health problems.

“We studied the effects of endotoxin- on hamsters, and we found that endotoxin precipitates pulmonary inflammation, a critical factor in lung injury,” Cerreta said.

Another team of scientists from Lund University in Sweden also found that endotoxins produced in cigarette smoke are the most aggressive form of endotoxins among the various types that exist.

It has been long known that cigarettes can cause poor health, especially in the lung. However researchers are still trying to determine the exact causes of lung disease caused by cigarettes. Scientists are trying to link the damage caused by endotoxins to lung diseases such as asthma and bronchitis.

These findings do little to help the tobacco industry, which has seen an increase of anti-smoking legislation across the country. Hundreds of cities have instituted partial and total smoking bans in public spaces. New York City’s ban on smoking in bars has become infamous, and New Jersey recently passed an expansive smoking ban in many public places, excluding the gaming floors of casinos.

Many students here at St. John’s continue to smoke despite knowledge that cigarettes are harmful.

“I know cigarettes are bad for me, but it is hard to stop,” said Emily Hausman, a senior History major. “Endotoxins or not, I don’t plan on quitting.”

Other students recognize the danger of smoking and chose not to.

“I am glad they have found more information about the causes of lung disease in cigarettes,” said Adam Smith, a senior English major. “Hopefully they can help people who already smoke, like my parents”

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