Filter cigarettes should be recalled from sale in Australia and the tobacco industry forced to pay local government and water authorities for cleaning up the toxic waste caused by discarded butts, according to a story in The Conversation.
Australians should not be misled about the existence of a ‘safer’ cigarette, the story said. There wasn’t one.
But without filters, the number of lethal lung cancers might be reduced, more smokers would quit because of the harsh taste of unfiltered smoke, and fewer young people would start smoking.
The story also attacked the use of ventilation holes in filters, which were said to be present on 90 percent of the licit cigarettes sold in Australia.
Larger modern filters with tiny holes introduced more air into each puff, making the smoke inhaled feel easier on the throat, the story said.
But to extract a constant nicotine dose, smokers compensated by taking deeper puffs, and more of them.
This decreased smokers’ exposure to just a few carcinogens, but increased their exposure to more harmful smoke components in the vapor phase of the smoke.
This change in smoking behavior had caused a major upsurge during the past 30 years or so in adenocarcinomas. On the other hand, central squamous cell cancers, cancers of larger lung tissue, had reduced in parallel, but this had had no effect on cancer numbers overall.
A review of evidence on filters and cancer had found filter ventilation had contributed to the rise in lethal adenocarcinomas, and recommended filter ventilation be banned.