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Who says what?
PRO-TOBACCO LOBBY
ANTI-TOBACCO LOBBY
THE SCIENTIST


Brown & Williamson.

One of the largest tobacco manufacturers in the USA.

In 1994 they published a list of 599 additives used in their cigarettes.

You'll be surprised how innocuous they sound.


British Columbia Ministry of Health, Canada.

The first public body to commission independent research into cigarette additives.

They claim there are over 4,000 substances in cigarette smoke.


Prof John Gorrod.

A leading chemist who has spent 25 years studying cigarette smoke.

His research team has been funded by cancer charities and the tobacco industry. Here he adjudicates.

Ingredients
ammonia nicotine honey
cadmium vanilla chocolate
arsenic lead benzene

AMMONIA
PRO-TOBACCO LOBBY
"Occurs in human/animal breath due to protein metabolism; dissolved in water it is a naturally occurring substance that plays a vital role in protein metabolism in animals, including man".
ANTI-TOBACCO LOBBY
"Scientists have discovered that ammonia helps you absorb more nicotine, keeping you hooked on smoking".
PROF. GORROD
"Theoretically Ammonia should help you absorb more nicotine. In practise I have seen data that shows it has no effect whatsoever. The tobacco companies admit to putting in ammonium phosphate but this is just to supplement the ammonia that is already there as during distillation and burning, ammonia is formed. This gives tobacco smoke some of the characteristics which the customer likes. The level of ammonia is not at a level to be toxic".
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NICOTINE
PRO-TOBACCO LOBBY
Present in tobacco. It is not an additive.
ANTI-TOBACCO LOBBY
"Nicotine is the drug in tobacco that makes smoking a powerful addiction. Experts rank nicotine ahead of alcohol, cocaine and heroin with regard to the severity of dependence resulting from its use".
PROF. GORROD
"Nicotine is there purely because it is present in tobacco. It is not added. Nicotine is a tobacco alkaloid. It produces a reaction with nicotinic receptors and produces effects on muscles and the brain. The pleasures of smoking are caused by nicotine itself. It relaxes people making them feel good. You can measure the blood level of nicotine and research has shown that as that level drops the smoker will reach for another cigarette, the blood level will go back up again and they will be happy. It is without doubt the most pharmacologically active agent. Every chemical is dangerous if you have high enough levels of concentrations. Everyone knows that when children first smoke they become sick, have headaches and can vomit. The same can be said of tobacco pickers, they absorb tobacco through the skin, when initially exposed to it they get nausea. This is low exposure and these people recover. But for the average smoker, it would certainly not be the nicotine that would do them harm. The tobacco industry seem to be lowering and lowering the levels of nicotine, I’m not sure that is necessarily a good thing because there is a case to be made for increasing the level of nicotine and keeping the tar down".
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HONEY
PRO-TOBACCO LOBBY
"Common food item"
ANTI-TOBACCO LOBBY
"Flavour enhancer. Appealing for children".
PROF. GORROD
"Like many of the other substances, honey is put in to produce a particular flavour which is attractive to the customer. People buy cigarettes of a specific brand. They prefer one brand to another, and once they've found one they like they will stick with it. Certain additives maintain the consistency of the smoke. They control the pH balance, the rate of burning etc. I don’t believe they are added for any underhand reason. They are there as flavour enhancers".
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ARSENIC
PRO-TOBACCO LOBBY
Not mentioned/ not an additive
ANTI-TOBACCO LOBBY
"This deadly poison makes your lips burn, and gives you bad breath".
PROF. GORROD
"Just about every food we have contains arsenic. Like a large number of other chemical elements in the soil, it is taken up by plants and as a result it is present in tobacco leaves. You will get traces of arsenic as you will other metals, such as copper and lead. But the levels are so unbelieveably low that the chances of them having an effect on a human is stretching the imagination. To kill somebody with arsenic you have to give them a lot for a very long time and this isn’t a lot of arsenic, these are traces".
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BENZENE
PRO-TOBACCO LOBBY
Not mentioned/ not an additive
ANTI-TOBACCO LOBBY
"Cancer-causing chemical used to make everything from pesticides to detergent to gasoline".
PROF. GORROD
"Benzene along with bezopyrene and butane are all hydrocarbons present because of pyrolasis [burning of tobacco]. These compounds are undoubtedly carcinogenic and - along with nitrosamines - are the most unpleasant toxicants. Generally speaking they are chemically quite inert but during the course of their transit through the body they get absorbed by the lungs and then transported to various organs, principally the liver, where they are metabolised and converted to compounds which we know are very reactive and toxic. Similarly the nitrosamines are formed chemically in the body. These substances were widely used as solvents at one time. Luckily that's all stopped now. They are without any doubt carcinogenic. It's difficult to take them out of tobacco smoke because they are not in tobacco, they are actually produced during the burning process. Other nasty substances are the oxides of nitrogen and sulphur and hydrochloric acid that can also be present. They are gases which can irreversibly damage the lungs to produce things like emphysema. Asthma has been shown to develop in children whose parents smoke".
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CHOCOLATE
PRO-TOBACCO LOBBY
"Common food item"
ANTI-TOBACCO LOBBY
"Flavour enhancer. Appealing for children".
PROF. GORROD
"Like many of the other substances this is added as a flavour enhancer to produce a particular brand effect".
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VANILLA
PRO-TOBACCO LOBBY
"Found in vanilla bean; used in baked goods, gelatin and puddings, condiments".
ANTI-TOBACCO LOBBY
"Flavour enhancer. Appealing for children".
PROF. GORROD
"Like many of the other substances, this is added as a flavour enhancer to produce a particular brand effect".
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CADMIUM
PRO-TOBACCO LOBBY
Not mentioned/ not an additive
ANTI-TOBACCO LOBBY
"Causes damage to the liver, kidneys and brain, and stays in the body for years".
PROF. GORROD
"Cadmium is a nasty toxic metal but the levels which occur in tobacco smoke are very low".
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LEAD
PRO-TOBACCO LOBBY
Not mentioned/ not an additive
ANTI-TOBACCO LOBBY
"Lead poisoning stunts your growth, makes you vomit and damages your brain".
PROF. GORROD
"Lead is a nasty toxic metal but once again one has to keep these things in perspective. The amount of lead that you got out of gasoline until relatively recently was infinitely higher than anything you would get out of a cigarette. If you consider the amount of pollution that occurs from heavily-used motorways throughout the world it has been shown that the lead in gasoline fumes undoubtedly affected the development of children. But remember those levels are much higher than you could ever find in tobacco smoke".
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