Marlboros are the world’s best selling cigarettes and also contain much higher levels of the cancer-causing agents called nitrosamines (TSNAs) than other cigarette brands sold in 11 of 13 other countries. In 10 of these countries, including Japan and Germany, Marlboros had at least twice the amount of TSNAs.

Philip Morris, the maker of Marlboros, says the Center for Disease Control finding wasn’t surprising because the levels of TSNAs in American cigarettes are traditionally higher, due to differences in curing and processing the tobacco. “We’re aware of these higher TSNAs and have worked to reduce them,” says Philip Morris spokesman Brendan McCormick.

Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, says, “Today’s study is just the most recent example of the tobacco industry’s reckless disregard for the health of smokers and yet another compelling reason why cigarettes need to be regulated by the federal government.”

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