Monday, February 01, 2010

Philip Morris Has Also Publicly Disclosed Its Brand-Specific Ingredients; FDA Tobacco Law Adds Nothing

I reported last week that R.J. Reynolds has publicly released its full list of cigarette ingredients by brand, along with the maximum quantities of each ingredient present in its cigarettes. Today, I report that Philip Morris has also released a brand-by-brand account of its cigarette ingredients and maximum quantities present.

For example, we now know that the ingredients of Marlboro 100's are:
  • Tobacco
  • Water
  • Sugars (Sucrose and/or Invert Sugar and/or High Fructose Corn Syrup)
  • Propylene Glycol
  • Glycerol
  • Licorice Extract
  • Diammonium Phosphate
  • Ammonium Hydroxide
  • Cocoa and Cocoa Products
  • Carob Bean and Extract
  • Natural and Artificial Flavors
The Rest of the Story

Contrary to the public propaganda statements of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and other health groups, the FDA tobacco law adds virtually nothing that we don't already know about the ingredients of cigarettes. Both R.J. Reynolds and Philip Morris have already revealed their brand-by-brand ingredient lists, along with the maximum concentration of each ingredient present. The complete list of known tobacco smoke constituents has also been published. Thus, the FDA tobacco law adds nothing new.

More importantly, what use is having this ingredient list? It's not like we don't already know why cigarettes are dangerous. Looking at the ingredient list of Marlboro 100's, is there any doubt as to why this product is deadly? I suspect it's not the water, natural or artificial flavors, sugars, propylene glycol, glycerol, licorice, cocoa or carob bean. While the ammonia alters the pH of the product to enhance the nicotine delivery, taking it out is not going to make Marlboro 100's any safer. My best guess is that what makes Marlboro 100's so deadly is the first listed ingredient: the tobacco.

Do we really need bureaucrats at the FDA poring through lists of all these cigarette ingredients, wasting taxpayer dollars only to conclude that cigarettes are toxic because they contain tobacco?

And even if some of the added ingredients make cigarettes more addictive by enhancing nicotine delivery, no one in their right mind would contend that eliminating all of these ingredients, and allowing the tobacco companies to provide their customers with pure tobacco (as Winston and American Spirit already do) is going to make cigarettes safer.

If the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids really maintains that eliminating certain cigarette ingredients is going to make cigarettes safer and benefit the public's health, then the Campaign must also argue that Winston and American Spirit cigarettes are safer and confer public health benefits to the population. I doubt that the Campaign is willing to make such an assertion.

Once again, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, is largely a piece of political propaganda, designed to allow policy makers and health groups to boast that they have taken on the tobacco companies when in fact, they have done nothing substantive to address the problem of tobacco use.

(Thanks to EinsteinSmoked for the tip).

No comments: