News Stories

Smoking Dangers Kept Secret

Most of us now realize that smoking leads to lung cancer (and other diseases), but not everyone realizes that tobacco companies HID this data for years. A new analysis of tobacco industry documents shows that Philip Morris manipulated data on the effects of additives in cigarettes, including menthol, obscuring actual toxicity levels and increasing the risk of heart, cancer and other diseases for smokers. This data provides evidence that hundreds of additives, including menthol, should be eliminated from cigarettes on public health grounds.

Researchers found that many of the toxins in cigarette smoke substantially increased after additives were added to cigarettes. They also found, after obtaining evidence that additives increased toxicity, that tobacco scientists adjusted the protocol for presenting their results in a way that obscured these increases.

The FDA can't ban cigarettes (or else they would become the new illegal drugs), but can they put restrictions on what's in them? One of the things that MIGHT pressure them to do this is the fact that cigarette additives appeal mostly to teenagers--the main group that tobacco companies are trying to "hook," so they will still be smokers (and cigarette buyers) tomorrow.

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I smoke... and any of you liberal pantywaists who want to control my behavior and make me stop can come and get some. Bring it on. I smoke organic tobacco, no additives. Big difference in the mortality statistics I bet... but nobody is interested in keeping those kinds of stats. Smoking used to be a calming meditative interlude after a long day's work... a customary addition to time spent with friends. But here comes Mr. Wizard with his bag of toxic chemicals with an eye to making big bucks. Now it's all politics and the goodness is gone forever... except for me and a few like-minded others. Do they smoke in heaven? Damn right they do.

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