Additives in tobacco more toxic than expected

Additives in tobacco more toxic than expected / Health News

Consumers deceived: additives in tobacco more toxic than assumed


Cigarettes contain more than just pure tobacco. Many substances are added to enhance the absorption of nicotine in the body and to intensify its action. In summary: Additives can not only change the taste of cigarettes, they also increase the addictive potential. The tobacco company Philip Morris is now accused of downplaying negative research results of cigarette additives.

Consumer fraudulently deceived?
In addition to tobacco, cigarettes also contain additives such as preservatives, menthol and humectants. The magnitude of the health damage of these additives seems to be controversial.

Scientists recently published a study in the journal „ PLoS Medicine“, were examined in the secret documents of the tobacco industry. The documents had to be made public in the course of liability claims. An international team of scientists examined the research results of Philip Morris. They scrutinized the effect of 333 additives and concluded that the group's claim that the cigarette additives „not essential to toxicity“ the smoldering stems contribute, is not tenable. Show your result „numerous negative biological consequences“ of the additives.

Philip Morris plays down poisonous effects of additives
The researchers revealed that scientific standards had been circumvented. For example, the number of laboratory animals is too low and the statistical treatment is insufficient. Even post retrospective changes to the analysis protocols have been revealed, reports Thomas Kyriss, one of the authors of the review paper. The lung surgeon goes further. He accuses the group Philip Morris in this context deliberate manipulation and deception. The results of the investigations had been deliberately downplayed, especially in the US to influence politics and the public in favor of the group.

The result of the investigation by Kryriss and his colleagues is clear: The additives are very toxic and therefore harmful to health. The additives increased the content of carcinogenic substances such as arsenic, formaldehyde and lead in cigarette smoke by one-fifth and much more.

Philip Morris rejects allegations
The corporation answers the allegations by questioning the methods of the scientists. It has not been refuted that additives do not make the cigarettes more harmful to health. According to the company, the scientists only examined incomplete documents from the Internet. Martina Pötschke-Langer from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) explains: „Even the logic says that the additives are harmful to health if you burn them. The Tobacco Ordinance must therefore be fundamentally changed. "

The World Health Organization (WHO) has been building tobacco control collaboration centers worldwide for some time. According to their estimates, four million people die prematurely from the effects of tobacco consumption worldwide every year. In Heidelberg, the WHO Collaboration Center is located in the DKFZ and closely linked to the Office for Cancer Prevention. (Ag)

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Picture: Gerd Altmann