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Cigarette filters: technological deception that harms both smokers and the environment

Сигаретные фильтры - технологический обман

For the first time, the tobacco industry introduced cigarette filters in the 1960s to make cigarettes safer. But now it is already known that they do not provide security , do not give health benefits and are one of the main causes of environmental pollution .

First it was stated that the filters reduce the amount of tar and other toxic substances and prevent them from falling into the light flakes of tobacco. Soon it was discovered that it was not so, and the cigarettes were as dangerous with filters as they were. But only years later this information reached the public, and even today a large part of smokers believe that cigarettes with a filter are safer - perhaps because they do not taste so sharp.

Most of the cigarettes in Australia are supplemented with holes in the filters, supposedly to allow more air to flow with each puff, which facilitates the effect of smoking on the throat. They were deceptively called "light" and "soft" until the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) banned it , as this name hinted at a less harmful, tar-less cigarette .

The ACCC forced tobacco companies to change the name of cigarettes, but not their contents or structure . Now 90% of cigarettes in Australia have vented filters. They simply determine by unfolding the paper filter and looking at the lumen.

How do the filters work?

Larger modern filters with openings allow more air to enter each time they are inhaled, and "easier" with the throat. Smokers compensate for this effect, in an attempt to get the same dose of nicotine, breathing deeper and making more puffs.

This reduces the contact of smokers with a small amount of carcinogens, but increases their contact with a large number of harmful smoke constituents in the gaseous phase, as it passes through the filters and into the peripheral airways.

This has led to a surge in adenocarcinoma over the past 30 years, as more smoke enters the peripheral areas of the lungs, where this glandular cancer usually appears.

A study of evidence that the filters lead to the appearance of cancer revealed that ventilation filters affected the increase in the number of lethal adenocarcinomas, which led to a recommendation for the prohibition of ventilated filters. In addition, the fibers of the filters break off and penetrate into the lungs , which can also lead to cancer.

Why is this type of cancer important?

A Japanese study in 2012 showed that in patients with adenocarcinoma, the number of deaths from cancer was slightly higher than in patients with squamous cell carcinoma. It turns out that the first is more deadly.

All over the world, women choose to smoke what they consider to be "light" cigarettes (with a filter). In Australia, lung cancer kills more women than breast cancer. And although breast cancer is more common, in his case, the percentage of survivors is much higher than in the case of lung cancer.

A report in the surgical journal Surgeon General of 2014 on smoking confirmed that a change in the structure of cigarettes led to an increase in the number of adenocarcinomas since the 1960s, as the design of cigarettes changed in the 1950s.

Australian and international researchers are convinced to impose a ban on filters since the early 2000s, and to introduce rules for regulating the content of cigarettes and their structure.

What about the environment?

Cigarette filters become steers. In Australia bulls are becoming the most frequent type of pollution in national subbotniks. Almost seven billion bulls annually become garbage in Australia. Filters harm the environment, because they contain plastic and do not decompose by microorganisms .

Our urban environment, marine life , oceans , rivers, beaches - all this would immensely benefit if filter cigarettes were no longer sold.

Сигаретные фильтры - технологический обман

In 2011, the medical journal BMJ Tobacco Control reported that the presence of heavy metals in bulls harms the marine environment. The researchers found that only one bull killed half of the fish exposed to the chemicals contained in it under laboratory conditions.

Why does no one regulate it?

The Federal Government [the official name of the state is Australia - the Commonwealth of Australia]. In 2009, it took measures to change the production of cigarettes in order to reduce the risk of fires . Some states have banned fruit-flavored cigarettes , because they were designed to attract children.

Local governments and the federal government have the ability to force tobacco companies to sell less attractive, less deadly, less-addictive cigarettes.

Since 2014, the Union has failed to respond to two comprehensive reports on the effective regulation of cigarettes . Cigarettes with a filter must be withdrawn from sale, and the tobacco industry - forced to pay local authorities for cleaning water and soil from toxic waste.

We should not deceive citizens with "safe" cigarettes. They do not exist. But without filters, the number of deadly cancers can be reduced, more smokers will decide to give up this habit because of a sharper taste, and fewer youngsters will start smoking.

Via theconversation.com & geektimes.ru