If you have been smoking cigarettes for any amount of time, you might be wondering if the filter in your cigarette mitigates the damage that smoking causes. Unfortunately, cigarette filters do not work to reduce the harm of smoking. In fact, filters can make the harmful impact of smoking worse in many situations. Some tobacco companies peddle false information about the health benefits of filtered cigarettes. If you have been a victim of this kind of deception, you have legal rights, and Sheehan & Associates, P.C. can help. Our law firm is not afraid to fight big companies that hurt the public through their dishonest practices.
What Are Cigarette Filters Made Of?
If you are looking for biodegradable cigarette filters, you are unlikely to find any. The vast majority of cigarette filters are made of a plastic called cellulose acetate. This plastic is slow to degrade in the environment and is causing a significant pollution problem around the globe. Some cigarette manufacturers also include charcoal granules or plugs in their filters.
How Do Cigarette Filters Work?
Inside a typical cigarette, you can find countless tiny fibers of cellulose acetate that make a filter. This fluffy, plastic filter absorbs vapors and collects smoke particles and chemicals. If the filter in your cigarette is vented (manufactured with small holes), the filter introduces more air into each inhalation. These holes might make for a more pleasant smoking experience, but they are no less harsh on your health.
What Are the Health Effects of Filtered Cigarettes?
Cigarette filters can and usually do make smoking more dangerous.
The Effects of the Common Filter
Smoking introduces your body to multiple carcinogens. Of the many cancer-causing substances in cigarette smoke, filters block only a small amount. And while cigarette filters might prevent larger tar particles from entering your lungs, they can help smaller, more dangerous tar particles travel deeper into your lungs. Because filters make smoke inhalation less harsh, many smokers inhale more deeply while smoking filtered cigarettes. Also, the small fibers packed inside a filtered cigarette can enter your lungs and potentially cause cancer.
The Effects of the Charcoal Filter
Can charcoal save the day when it comes to removing the harmful effects of smoking? It is highly doubtful. Charcoal as a “detoxifying health supplement” is a popular mantra these days. The substance shows up in food, personal care products, and tobacco products, promising to block bad substances and to leave you in good health. Many tobacco ads over the years have pushed charcoal filters as “high-tech” components that “clean smoke” and give “smooth” taste. But however good the marketing may be for charcoal products, their effect at “cleansing the body” is dubious at best. Recent research has shown that while charcoal filters can remove some cancer-causing gasses, they are not effective at blocking cancer-causing particles. Recent research also shows that there is no concrete association between charcoal filters and a reduced risk of lung cancer. Charcoal-filtered cigarettes are still dangerous and could leave you with harmful fibers and charcoal in your lungs. In conclusion, quitting smoking is your most effective option for reducing your health risks.
What If I Have Been Misled by Charcoal Filters?
Quitting smoking is hard, and tobacco companies take advantage of that. When you are struggling or unable to quit, Big Tobacco tells you their latest “innovation,” such as “light” or filtered cigarettes, will ameliorate the harms of smoking. These messages are false. And it may be a violation of New York’s deceptive trade practice laws. Tobacco companies are required to be honest with the public about their products. This includes what they say directly and what they imply. When it comes to charcoal filters, it is normal to think these may be a way to continue smoking but without the bad stuff, such as cancer and lung disease. But it’s apparent that tobacco companies have not been forthright with customers when touting charcoal filters as “safe.” If you feel that Big Tobacco has tricked you into using cigarettes based on false representations about the benefits provided by filters, you have options. You can take action to hold these companies accountable for their deception.
Tell “Big Tobacco” You Won’t Fall for Their Tricks
It may seem as if there is little any of us can do to force Big Tobacco to be honest with the public. You can go through the motions and tell them they should stop trying to sell us their latest “harm reduction” features. It’s likely that your calls and emails will be ignored. But if you want to make sure your voice is heard, connect with the experienced legal team at Sheehan & Associates, P.C. If you or someone you know used cigarettes with charcoal filters thinking this was a way to reduce the harms of smoking, we want to hear from you. Now is the time to take action against Big Tobacco.