On my commute home yesterday evening I was listening to NPR as I often do to catch up on the news. A news story came on with regard to a new class action lawsuit against the tobacco industry.
Apparently light cigarettes are not actually less bad for you. :eek:
If you had driven by me at that moment you would have seen my mouth hanging open.
I still can’t really believe it. I quit smoking almost 2 years ago but still, I smoked lights and ultra lights when I did smoke because I thought that if I was going to smoke at least I could smoke the cigarettes that weren’t quite as bad.
In the same news report they said that the government is going to force the tobacco companies to stop using the word Light and also the term Low Tar in the names of the cigarettes and in advertisement for exactly the reason named in the lawsuit, it’s misleading naive people like me into thinking that those cigarettes are safer or less harmful than the regulars.
I don’t know about the tar, but the problem with Light cigarettes is that smokers inhale more deeply to get the same buzz that Regular smokers get. This is a problem because all the crap in the cig gets deeper into your lungs and more intractable. Like tumors.
Wait, now that I think about it, I recall reading something about how lower tar means nothing to the healthiness of the cigarette.
I’ve never really concerned myself with how healthier (or not) “light” smokes were. In fact, I never really even thought about it that way – mostly, “light” and “extra light” were simply milder, less harsh than their stronger counterparts. That’s the only reason I also smoke extra-light. (Although “smooth” seems to be coming into vogue as a replacement for “light”)
Gah! Has tobacco really just addled my brain after all these years? Filtering does nothing?
Don’t get me wrong. There’s absolutely no question and never was that cigarettes are bad for your health. But I really grew up believing there were degrees of badness:
Unfiltered = the worst
Full strength filtered = not quite the worst
Light = just slightly less bad (but still really, really bad)
But yes jjimm that’s what they’re saying, Marlboro Reds aka Cowboy Killers are no more toxic than Virginia Slims Ultra-lights and that the tobacco industry has tricked us gullible consumers into believing that somehow smoking lights wasn’t as bad for us as smoking full strength ciggies leading thousands of smokers to switch to light brands rather than quit.
There’s a thread over in the pit discussing the merits of the case if anyone is interested.
No difference…I still can’t believe I was so stupid…[sub]and I’m still glad I quit[/sub]
Interesting things about filters – you can see they’re doing something, because the filters gets brown and disgusting-looking (I never smoked, but I had relatives who did. And do.), but it doesn’t necessarily help as much as you thought. Or possibly aty all. I’m told that they make some folks such harder, which just pulls more stuff into your lungs. And the Kent “Micronite” filter, IIRC, was actually made with asbestos.
I wouldn’t say “nothing”… have you never accidentally lit the wrong end and got a good raunchy hit of scorched synthetic-nylonesque melty fiter-material goodness in your mouth/lungs?
When you’re smoking normally, you aren’t incinerating those plastic-polymer threads, but you’re drawing some pretty darned hot smoke through them. On the one hand, they’re supposed to remove some of the harmful gick from the tobacco smoke; on the other hand, common sense says that it can’t be all that good for you to heat up a bunch of plastic fibers and then directly inhale the fumes from it.
Still don’t buy it. Many years ago I had nothing else to smoke, so I smoked a pack of unfiltered Gauloise one night, and coughed up blood the next day. Absolutely disgusting. Never happened before or since smoking my supposedly light ciggies.
I think the substance of the suit is that “lights” is bullshit - I can buy that - but I still think there is some distinction. Even if the “dragging deeper” thing is true.
I saw an interesting documentary several years ago which claimed there was no difference between Light and regular tobacco - the difference was in the paper. Apparently, the paper has small strategically placed holes in it, which dilutes the “strength” of the smoke you’re breathing in. Regular smokers of light brands, it was claimed, subconsciously learn to hold the cigarette so that they pinch the air holes shut.