The level of nicotine that smokers typically consume per cigarette went up about 10% from 1998 to 2004, making it harder to quit and easier to get hooked, according to a report by the Massachusetts Department of Health.
The study, released Tuesday, showed a steady climb in the amount of nicotine delivered to the lungs of smokers regardless of brand, with overall nicotine yields increasing by about 10%.
Massachusetts is one of three states to require tobacco companies to submit information about nicotine testing according to its specifications, and the only state with data going back to 1998.
Public Health Commissioner Paul J. Cote Jr. called the findings “significant.”
The study found the three most popular cigarette brands with young smokers -- Marlboro, Newport and Camel -- delivered significantly more nicotine than they did six years ago.
Nicotine consumed in Kool, a popular menthol brand, rose 20%.
Jennifer Golisch, a spokeswoman for Altria Group Inc.'s Philip Morris USA, the nation’s largest cigarette maker and manufacturer of Marlboro cigarettes, declined to comment.
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., manufacturer of Kool and Camel cigarettes, also declined to comment.
Smokers who choose “light” brands hoping to reduce their nicotine intake are out of luck.
According to the report, there was no significant difference in the total nicotine delivered between “full flavor,” “medium,” “light,” or “ultra-light” cigarettes.