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β€œLight” Cigarettes Deemed Fraud by Israel Cancer Society

Apr 2, 2003 |

The Israel Cancer Society has announced that cigarettes deemed "light" are as just as hazardous to smokers' health as regular cigarettes, and possibly even more so. “Adding the tag 'light' is a sophisticated deception by the cigarette manufacturers," says the Society, "that results in countless victims among smokers in Israel.”

Itim News Agency reports that the Society says that the term “light” is used for cigarettes that contain less nicotine, the ingredient that causes addiction to cigarettes. However, the fact that “light” cigarettes contain less nicotine merely causes the smoker to inhale more smoke and to hold it in the lungs longer in order to make up the amount of nicotine the body desires. As a direct consequence of this change in smoking style, the smoker actually takes in larger doses of some of the other 4,000 toxins found in cigarettes, 43 of which are cancer-causing elements.

According to published statistics, some 50% of the cigarettes sold in Israel in recent years are deemed “light.” If they were really less poisonous, argues the Society, there would have been a dramatic decrease in the number of smoking-related illnesses but the reality is far different.

Israel's Cancer Society maintains that cigarette manufacturers sometimes defraud the public in yet another way. In order to know how much nicotine is contained in each cigarette, they make use of a “smoking machine.” The cigarette is placed in the machine, and the amount of nicotine and tar that surfaces is measured. Research done in the United States shows that cigarette manufacturers make microscopic holes in the cigarette filter that which allows air into the cigarette thus thinning the blend of noxious waste that the machine registers.

In reality, however, the smoker holds the cigarette tightly between two fingers and blocks these microscopic holes, and thus, the blend of lethal toxins the smoker breathes into his lungs is much greater and more concentrated than that measured by the “smoking machine.” Even if a smoker is careful not to block the holes, the Society maintains, “light” cigarettes would still not be safer.

The Society claims that there is yet a third fraudulent aspect in using the term “light.” It leads smokers to believe that they can smoke more cigarettes, as they are perceived as less hazardous than regular ones. Thus, they end up smoking even more than they normally would of the “regular” kind.

Just two weeks ago, on March 21, an Illinois State Court in the U.S. ruled that cigarette manufacturer Philip Morris (makers of Marlboro, Parliament, L&M) must pay $10.1 billion in a class action suit. The company was found guilty of defrauding the public by causing smokers to believe that “light” cigarettes are less dangerous than others.

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