Why are counterfeit cigarettes toxic in nature?

It’s a well-known fact that cigarettes are harmful to you and can cause life-threatening disease like Cancer in the long run. But, have you ever imagined what counterfeit cigarettes can do to you? When it comes to cigarette addiction fake ones should be avoided at all costs. Fake cigarettes are usually imported from foreign countries like China and they are able to make their way into different countries due to weak customs laws and poor regulation of the market.

There is an enormous market of counterfeit cigarettes in India. This is due to the ever-growing taxes on tobacco and tobacco-based products. There is an ongoing trend of the rise in consumption of counterfeit cigarettes among the masses which is harmful to their health. According to a research group, a fake cigarette contains adulterants which are quite toxic for the lungs.

The research group set out to study these cigarettes with one goal in mind—provide more accurate data for assessing their impact on one’s health. “Counterfeit cigarettes constitute a significant crime and public health problem,” Yi He, associate professor of chemistry at John Jay College told R&D Magazine after her session presentation at Pittcon in Atlanta last month titled Elemental Profile of Tobacco Used in Counterfeit Cigarettes.

The researchers at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and CUNY, including Agricultural Research Service (USDA), studied the elemental profile in counterfeit cigarettes that was provided by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives after being seized by the law enforcement agency. The 13 elements they researched in the cigarettes included: As, Ca, Cd, Co, Cu, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Ni, P, Pb and Zn.

According to academic research presented at a session, a tobacco plant is particularly efficient in accumulating cadmium from the soil and translocating most of the metal to the leaves. Cadmium is the prime focus for this particular investigation of potential toxic effects. The group analysed 46 counterfeit samples, including 22 Newport, six Marlboro Red and 18 Marlboro Light brands, as well as six genuine cigarettes. The research team’s study concluded that there were much higher concentrations of toxic heavy metals consistently found in counterfeit cigarettes that were seized in the U.S. compared to genuine brands.

Source: rdmag.com