Finnish health care company Biohit Oyj has started the sales of its new product Acetium lozenge. Acetium lozenge is intended for smokers to bind acetaldehyde that dissolves to saliva during smoking. Acetaldehyde is the most important carcinogen in cigarette smoke.
Acetium lozenge is sold in pharmacies in packs of 15 tablets. Packaging costs about 4-5 euros. New products will be available from April onwards in Finnish pharmacies.
CEO Semi Korpela, Biohit: “This is a completely new type of product to decrease harms of smoking. Acetium lozenge removes the major carcinogen in tobacco, it is tooth-friendly and the tablet is easy to use during smoking. However, Biohit recommends everyone to quit smoking due it’s all harmful effects. ”
CEO Semi Korpela, Biohit Oyj Tel. +358 9 773 861 firstname.lastname@example.org www.biohit.fi
Acetaldehyde is the most important cigarette smoke carcinogen (1). In 2008, the WHO Expert Group recommended the reduction of acetaldehyde in cigarette smoke to be mandatory (2). Acetaldehyde concentration in tobacco smoke is almost 1000 times higher than any of the other carcinogens. Due to highly water soluble substance contained in tobacco smoke, acetaldehyde dissolves in saliva during smoking and is emanated along with it in the mouth, throat, esophagus and gastric mucosa. By this mechanism, smoking significantly increases risk of cancer in these areas.
Normally acetaldehyde concentration is not measurable in saliva. During smoking the average acetaldehyde content is approximately 228 micromoles per liter (10mg / l). If the smoker is simultaneously drinking alcohol, acetaldehyde concentration in saliva is significantly higher at around 360 micromoles per liter (16mg / l) (3). Mutagenic level of acetaldehyde is approximately above 50-100 micromoles, which means from 2.2 to 4.4 mg of acetaldehyde per liter (4,5). Thus, the active smoking during salivary acetaldehyde concentration exceeds the risk tolerance by 2-4 times.
Acetium® lozenge method developed by Biohit contains L-cysteine and xylitol and it extremely effectively removes acetaldehyde in smoker's saliva. Studies have proven that even a very small amount of cysteine (3 mg) removes up to 90 % acetaldehyde dissolved in to saliva during smoking (6).
Acetaldehyde in cigarette smoke is generated during the combustion process. Acetaldehyde does not improve the taste or smell of cigarettes, and it’s not expected to affect the attractiveness of cigarettes. Acetaldehyde, however, is expected to make cigarettes more addictive by increasing the addictive effect of nicotine (7). Acetaldehyde can also bind to certain amino acids in the body, and form so-called harmans. Harmans are believed to influence directly on the brain as depression medicines, which can improve the mood. Tobacco addiction may, therefore, be strengthened by this mechanism. It is possible to study this hypothesis with Acetium lozenge form.
Acetium lozenges and cigarette smoke acetaldehyde-related literature:
1. Haussmann HJ. Use of hazard indices for a theoretical evaluation of cigarette smoke composition. Chem Res Toxicol 2012;25:794−810.
2. Burns DM, Dybing E, Gray N, Hecht S, Anderson C, Sanner T et al. Mandated lowering of toxicants in cigarette smoke: a description of the World Health Organization Tob Reg proposal. Tob Control 2008;17:132−41. 3. Salaspuro V, Salaspuro M. Synergistic effect of alcohol drinking and smoking on in vivo acetaldehyde concentration in saliva. Int J Cancer 2004;111:480-483.
4. Salaspuro M. Interactions of alcohol and tobacco in gastrointestinal cancer. J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2012 Mar;27 Suppl 2:135-9.
5. Seitz HK, Stickel F. Acetaldehyde as an underestimated risk factor for cancer development: role of genes in ethanol metabolism. Genes Nutr 2010;5:121-128.
6. Salaspuro VJ, Hietala JM, Marvola ML, Salaspuro MP. Eliminating carcinogenic acetaldehyde by cysteine from saliva during smoking. Cancer Epid Biomark Prev 2006;15:146-9.
7. Talhout R, Opperhuizen A, van Amsterdam JG. Role of acetaldehyde in tobacco smoke addiction. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2007 Oct;17(10):627-36.
Valvira: http://www.valvira.fi/en/supervision_guidance/tobacco/quality_control THL: http://www.thl.fi/en_US/web/en Cancer Society of Finland: http://www.cancer.fi/en/
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