• March 2, 2024

Belgium Experts Call for EU-Wide Filter Ban

 Belgium Experts Call for EU-Wide Filter Ban
Image: Tobacco Reporter archive

Filtered cigarettes are equally as unhealthy as unfiltered cigarettes, a Superior Health Council analysis showed, according to The Brussels Times.

The analysis also stated that filters cause a false sense of security and can cause more carcinogenic substances in cigarette smoke.

“Filters in cigarettes do not actually reduce the harmful health effects of smoking. From a public health perspective, they do not offer any benefit while they pollute the environment,” said the report by the Superior Health Council.

Banning filters could make smoking less attractive as well, as filters are said to have a more “pleasant” mouthfeel, reduce sensory irritation in the airways and prevent tobacco from entering the mouth.

“Instead of protecting against lung cancer, the filters have mainly promoted a shift in lung cancer type over the years,” the Superior Health Council concluded, adding that filters are therefore a “false solution” to the health problem caused by smoking.

The Superior Health Council is asking that filters be considered nondegradable single-use plastic products like disposable plastic bags. The council is also suggesting that a filter ban be implemented across the European Union to give it the best chance of success.