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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

New Reason to Quit Smoking: Pig Blood!

Before you start freaking out on me:

Yes - this is regarding pig blood in cigarettes.
No - it's not like a bunch of blood was spilled in some factory and now packs may be tainted.

But the truth is somewhere in-between and it's rather disconcerting (and makes me glad I've only had one cigarette in my life).

University of Sydney Professor in Public Health Simon Chapman points to recent Dutch research which identified 185 different industrial uses of a pig - including the use of its haemoglobin in cigarette filters.

So it's not just pig blood - it's a specific part of the blood, and it's serving an industrial purpose. It turns out that pig haemoglobin can make cigarette filters more effective at trapping harmful chemicals before they can enter a smoker's lungs.

And it's not in ALL cigarettes - maybe. The fact is that we don't know and have no way of knowing. Some tobacco companies have voluntarily moved a list of product contents to public websites, but these lists can include undisclosed "processing aids ... that are not significantly present in, and do not functionally affect, the finished product." That means that cigarettes could contain "insignificant" amounts of pig haemoglobins.

Of course, that all depends on your definition of "insignificant" - devout Jews and Muslims, whose core beliefs specifically ban the consumption of pork in all its forms, will undoubtedly find any amount of pig in their cigarettes to be "significant". Likewise with vegetarians, who never would have suspected that behind the leafy safe tobacco filling could be lurking a meaty filter.

According to the article I read this news from, at least one cigarette brand sold in Greece was confirmed as using pig haemoglobin in its processes.

The fact remains - unless your cigarette company is willing to divulge this information, you will have no idea how much your smokes have in common with a smoky side of bacon.

What do you think? Are you a smoker and this knowledge may affect your smoking habits? Are you Jewish/Muslim/vegetarian and a smoker? Leave a comment!

And then Digg this article!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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