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Posted at 07:00 AM ET, 04/15/2011

Is that right? ‘Silver,’ ‘gold’ and ‘slim’ cigarettes are not as bad?

Smoking any kind of cigarette can harm your health. Everyone knows that, right?

Apparently not.

Research published Tuesday in the journal Addiction found that about a fifth of 8,243 smokers from Australia, Britain, Canada and the United States believed that “some cigarette brands could be less harmful than others.” That’s actually not the case. And guess which nations’ smokers got it wrong most often? The U.S. and Britain.

Cigarette makers used to designate some of their products as “light,” “mild” or “low-tar,” terms that gave the false impression that these cigarettes were more healthful than others.

But those terms aren’t allowed in cigarette marketing any more. They’ve been replaced with terms such as “silver,” “gold” and “slim,” and those concepts are played out on the package designs.

But a slim cigarette, or a gold or silver one, is a cigarette just the same.

Do you think cigarette packages should be further regulated so they don’t feature any misleading descriptors? Or do you think this boils down to “buyer beware”?

By  |  07:00 AM ET, 04/15/2011

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