Your Cigarettes May Be Killing You

Q: Does the filter on your cigarette really make it safer?

Most people mistakenly believe that smoking a filtered cigarette is safer than smoking a non-filtered cigarette. This is false.

Health studies show that smoking filtered cigarettes do not keep you from getting sick. Filters do not protect you from bad chemicals and, in some ways, they may be more dangerous than non-filtered cigarettes.

Why don't filters work?

  • Filters do not block all the bad chemicals in smoke.
  • Filtered smoke feels milder on the throat, making it easier to take bigger and deeper puffs.
  • Filters help block only the biggest tar particles while letting through the smaller bits of tar that can travel deeper into your lungs.

Filters are defective — and the companies know it. You may be inhaling filter fibers into your lungs.

  • Most cigarette filters are made of the same material as camera film (cellulose acetate).
  • Each individual filter is made of thousands of tiny fibers.
  • The inside of the filter is painted white to make it appear clean.
  • During smoking, these fibers can come off into your mouth and be inhaled into your lungs.

Charcoal filters are no better.

If you smoke a cigarette with a charcoal filter, not only can you get fibers in your body, you can also get tiny bits of charcoal.

Closeup of a Filter
Close up of a filter with fibers dangling off.
Tar coated Filter
Tar-coated filter fiber stuck in lung tissue.

What cigarette manufacturers will not tell you:

Tobacco industry documents show that they have known about filter fiber fall out since at least the 1950s.

"Carbon particles were released from all cigarettes tested. In some studies, the particles released from cigarette filters were described as: "...too numerous to count."
Memo to Judy Nash from Nancy R. Ryan. February 18, 1982.
"Filter particle fallout." Bates No. 1000805035.

"He said when [a filter] plug is cut ...there always remains a few loose, hard particles of filament. These loose, hard pieces of material are then sucked down into the lungs of the smoker.
Memo to Mr. O.P. McComas from Anne C. Stubing. May 1, 1957. (no title).
Bates No. 2040015018-2040015020.

Don't be fooled, the filter on your cigarette may be causing you more harm than good.


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