Cigarette filters: technological deception harmful to smokers and the environment
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 safety , do not provide health benefits and are one of the main causes of environmental pollution .
At first it was stated that filters reduce the amount of tar and other toxic substances and prevent tobacco flakes from entering the lungs. It was soon discovered that this was not so, and cigarettes were just as dangerous with filters. But only years later did this information reach the public, and even today, most smokers believe that filter cigarettes are safer - perhaps because their taste is not so sharp.
Most cigarettes in Australia are supplemented with holes in the filters, supposedly to allow more air to flow in 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 because it hinted at a less harmful cigarette with less tar. .
ACCC forced tobacco companies to change the name of cigarettes, but not their contents or structure . Now 90% of cigarettes in Australia have ventilated filters. They are easy to identify by unfolding a paper filter and looking at the lumen.
How do filters work?
Larger modern filters with holes allow more air to be drawn in with each puff, and the throat is “easier”. Smokers compensate for this effect by trying to get the same dose of nicotine by breathing deeper and taking 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 components in the gaseous phase, as it passes through filters and into peripheral airways.
A study of the evidence that filters lead to cancer revealed that ventilation filters affected the increase in the number of lethal adenocarcinomas, resulting in a recommendation to ban vented filters. In addition, filter fibers break off and enter the lungs , which can also lead to cancer.
Why is this type of cancer important?
A 2012 Japanese study found that patients with adenocarcinoma had slightly more cancer deaths than patients with squamous cell carcinoma. It turns out that the first is more deadly.
All over the world, women choose for smoking what they consider to be “lighter” cigarettes (with a filter). In Australia, more women die from lung cancer than from breast cancer. Although breast cancer is more common, in its case the percentage of survivors is much higher than in the case of lung cancer.
A 2014 report on tobacco smoking in Surgeon General, a surgical journal, confirmed that cigarette structure changes had led to an increase in adenocarcinomas since the 1960s, as cigarette designs changed in the 1950s.
What about the environment?
Cigarette filters become gobies. In Australia, calves are constantly becoming the most common type of pollution in national community work days. Nearly seven billion bull-calves become garbage every year in Australia. Filters harm the environment, because they contain plastic and are not decomposed by microorganisms .
In 2011, the medical journal BMJ Tobacco Control reported that the presence of heavy metals in gobies is harmful to the marine environment. Researchers found that just one goby killed half of the fish exposed to chemicals in the laboratory.
Why does no one regulate this?
Union Government [Commonwealth of Australia] / approx. trans.] in 2009 took measures to change the production of cigarettes to reduce the risk of fires . Some states banned fruit-flavored cigarettes as they were designed to attract children.
Local governments and the federal government have the opportunity 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 . Filter cigarettes must be withdrawn from sale, and the tobacco industry must be forced to pay local governments for cleaning up 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 quit because of a harsher taste, and fewer young people will start smoking.
Via theconversation.com & geektimes.ru