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New – The “Risk-free” Cigarette (up to 90%)

“They look and taste like normal cigarettes.”

It is said that it takes advantage of some sort of trionic filter and a new way of preparing the tobacco…

Rumors were running around in the UK press that this new cigarette can reduce cancer risk by 90% compared with “normal cigarettes.” A spokesperson for British American Tobacco (BAT), Emily Brand, says that it is not true: reports about a new type of cigarette were—misleading—. What a pity!

Their trionic filters are made of three sections which interact with different sets of chemicals in cigarette smoke. Combined with a new way of preparing the tobacco, British American Tobacco claimed that its new cigarettes significantly reduce the amount of toxic chemicals when compared with normal cigarettes.

Earlier this year the tobacco company Phillip Morris also began testing its new Marlboro Ultra Smooth, which has a new carbon filter system.

Critics of the so-called safer cigarettes say that if the products are launched customers might be fooled into thinking they are reducing their risk of cancer or death.

Low-tar cigarettes have been shown to be no safer than ordinary cigarettes because people tend to smoke more of them and inhale more deeply.

“We have been through all this before with low tar cigarettes,” said Deborah Arnott, director of Action on Smoking and Health. “By encouraging people to carry on smoking by switching to supposed low tar or safer brands hundreds of thousands more people have died. There is no way of significantly reducing the harm of smoking.”

The “Normal Cigarette”

Tobacco firm plays down reports of safer cigarettes: Emily Brand, of BAT, said that the company had a programme of research to look for ways to cut down the harm caused by cigarettes and admitted that there had been trials of a cigarette which used new “trionic” filters to remove more of the thousands of harmful chemicals in smoke.

The trials, carried out in Indianapolis several years ago, did not provide conclusive results. —If you burn anything and suck that smoke down into your lungs, there are so many different chemical reactions happening there, we don’t really understand the biological mechanisms of how the lungs deal with that … we have no way of knowing what the long-term effects of that are going to be— says Ms Brand.

—We don’t know if it is safer or not, we don’t know if this is a product wère going to bring to market, we don’t know how it’s going to go in consumer trials, we really haven’t got the information available to make decisions on whether or not to launch it, never mind when that launch would take place—.

…In fact, David Betteridge, a BAT spokesman, speaking about the controversial “risk-free or low-risk cigarettes, that BAT is to launch in 2006, had said: —They look and taste like “normal cigarettes”—.

It looks like consumers today had better be very cautious, especially regarding the new generation of so-called “reduced risk” products that Big Tobacco is rolling out.

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