Simon Chapman, Professor in Public Health from the University of Sydney points to a recent Dutch research which identified 185 different industrial uses of a pig – including the use of its haemoglobin in cigarette filters.
The research found pig haemoglobin – a blood protein – was being used to make cigarette filters more effective at trapping harmful chemicals before they could enter a smoker’s lungs.
Prof Chapman said while tobacco companies had moved voluntarily list the contents of their products on their websites, they also noted undisclosed “processing aids … that are not significantly present in, and do not functionally affect the finished product”.
“It just puts into hard relief the problem that the tobacco industry is not required to declare the ingredients of cigarettes … they say ‘that’s our business’ and a trade secret.”
This “all encompassing reasoning” hides from public view an array of chemicals and other substances used in the making of tobacco products, he said.
At least one cigarette brand sold in Greece was confirmed as using pig haemoglobin in its processes, Prof Chapman said, and the status of smokes sold worldwide was unknown.
“If you’re a smoker and you’re of Islamic or Jewish faith then you’d probably would want to know, and there is no way of finding out,” Prof Chapman said.