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Safe Cigarettes? 844

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the taking-out-all-the-fun-stuff dept.
CDPatten writes "The UK Times Online is reporting that we could see a 'safe cigarette' next year. From the article: 'BRITISH American Tobacco (BAT) is to launch a controversial 'safer cigarette' designed to cut the risk of smoking-related diseases such as cancer and heart failure by up to 90%.' I wonder if this will have any impact on the no smoking bans we have seen in recent years?"
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Safe Cigarettes?

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  • Still Safe? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 06, 2005 @03:45PM (#13964112)
    I thought the tobacco industry said that their products already were safe? So these would be just the same again, right?
  • by hector_uk (882132) on Sunday November 06, 2005 @03:45PM (#13964113)
    it's still an addictive expensive drug.
  • by Palal (836081) on Sunday November 06, 2005 @03:45PM (#13964114) Homepage
    "There is no safe cigarette." I think that's all we need to know.
    • You can't puff smoke without first having the particulates in your lungs.
    • Philip Morris LIES (Score:5, Informative)

      by ikewillis (586793) on Sunday November 06, 2005 @04:09PM (#13964301) Homepage
      Of course Philip Morris says there's no safe cigarette. They don't want to invest the money to make their cigarettes safer...

      Internal memos from Philip Morris [tobaccodocuments.org] from April 1980 indicate that the tobacco companies have been fully aware of radioactivity in cigarettes for over two decades. They also knew of ways of eliminating the radioactivity, but wrote them off as a "valid but expensive point":

      That phosphate fertilizer (specifically superphosphate fertilizer) contains natural radioactivity is a well established fact.

      Natural uranium accumulates in the phosphate rock and has been shown to substitute for calcium in the rock structure. Uranium and its daughters are thus carried through the mining and manufacturing process and appear in the commercial product. Soils to which these products are applied show an increase in radioactivity over that naturally present and this increase is a function of the rate of application and the number of years that the fertilizers have been used.

      M. E. Counts has shown that the specific [radio]activity [...] increases as the particle size of the superphosphate fertilizer decreases. Thus the smaller particles, which would be more likely to be made airborne by normal farming practices, would be expected to settle out on the tobacco leaves during the growing season and/or be more readily taken up by the plant root system.

      210Pb and 210Po are present in tobacco and smoke. The Martell [aracnet.com] "Hot Particle Theory [tobaccodocuments.org]" has been addressed in the past and has apparently lost popularity in the scientific community (lack of recent publicity in this field). For -particles from 210Po to be the cause of lung cancers is unlikely due to the amount of radioactivity of a particular energy necessary for induction Evidence to date, however, does not allow one to state that this is an impossibility. (Ed: and of course, more recent evidence says just the opposite [pnas.org])

      The recommendation of using ammonium phosphate instead of calcium phosphate as fertilizer is probably a valid but expensive point. What Martell appears to be suggesting is the purification of phosphate rock to obtain P2O5 or H3PO4 free of calcium (uranium and daughters) and inert materials. Preparation of ammonium phosphate for fertilizer would then yield a product greatly reduced in or free of the natural radioactivity present in the parent phosphate rock.

      Furthermore, switching to indirect fire curing would eliminate virtually all of another carcinogen, nitrosamine, from cigarettes. Nitrosamine was previously found in BEER thanks to direct fire curing of barley. Switching to indirect fire curing of barley reduced nitrosamine in beer to indetectable levels. Yet Philip Morris makes Marlboros, cigarettes with more nitrosamine than any others in the world [smh.com.au].

      Yes, believe what Philip Morris says, because if you realized there could be a safe cigarette, it would cost them a lot of money...

      Here's two simple manufacturing changes they could make which would eliminate the two most potent carcinogens from cigarettes. But I guess it's just cheaper for Philip Morris to kill their customers.

      • by Jekler (626699)
        I've actually read articles in the past (none of which I know a reference to) that stated it was a completely financial decision. It's not the cost of manufacturing that prevents them from switching processes, it's the fact that they're not legally allowed to advertise it even if they did produce a safer cigarette.

        What's the point of making something safer if the government tells you that you're not allowed to tell people you did it? Would cars have airbags if there was a restriction against telling pe
  • I've always wanted the reassurance that there would be no health risk were I to smoke 99x as many cigarettes as I do now!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 06, 2005 @03:45PM (#13964118)
    If you really want people to quit smoking, make them 100x more lethal, so that smoking a year will kill you. Then we'll see how many people actually have a motivation to quit.
    • MOD him parent up!

      Not only would it encourage people to quit, all those who were dumb enough to keep smoking would be dead quick enough not to become such a horrible drain on our medical system. Yes, I do know that cigarettes are taxed, blah blah blah.

      Maybe we could comprise any make every 1000th cigarete cause instantenous death?

      • In the UK at least, smokers pay significanly more in taxes than it costs the health system to look after them while they die; IIRC the figure is around an order of magnitude difference. Smokers tend to die earlier than non smokers too, which means they're less of a burden in old age.

        Of course, non of this changes the fact that it's a disgusting habit, imposed on others in the form of passive smoking, and leaves clothes and hair stinking, and any rooms/furnishings stinking forever after.

        Personally I loath sm

    • I agree! While we are at it, why not:
      - Make cars more unsafe so people die when they crash? That way we will have fewer crashes
      - Make materials more flameable? That way a fire will ensure everyone gets killed. THAT will teach people to be more carefule with matches and lighters.
      - Make cellphones give you an electroshock when you say something ungodly? Then everyone will be religious and believe in the same crap.

      Yes, by golly! I think you are on to something... Why not just use all the nuclear weapons
      • by quantaman (517394) on Sunday November 06, 2005 @04:18PM (#13964356)
        I agree! While we are at it, why not:

        Of the four comparisons you made here three were invalid and the fourth actually proved his point

        - Make cars more unsafe so people die when they crash? That way we will have fewer crashes
        - Make materials more flameable? That way a fire will ensure everyone gets killed. THAT will teach people to be more carefule with matches and lighters.
        - Make cellphones give you an electroshock when you say something ungodly? Then everyone will be religious and believe in the same crap.

        Cars, matches and lighters, and cellphones are all very useful items that in some cases have innately dangerous qualities, people should exert caution with them but we lose a lot of benefit if people stop using them entirely. Cigarrettes on the other hand have no real benefits thus nothing is lost if people stop using them.

        Yes, by golly! I think you are on to something... Why not just use all the nuclear weapons we have? Then we will not be having this discussion in the future!


        We haven't used a nuclear weapon in a war since WWII, in fact because nuclear weapons are so insanely deadly there hasn't been a full out war between major powers since WWII, we simply made war so deadly with nukes that people stopped having them because is was MAD... Hey, isn't that exactly the point the grandparent was trying to make with about using extra deadly cigarettes?
        • by Lillesvin (797939) on Sunday November 06, 2005 @04:54PM (#13964565) Homepage

          [...] we simply made war so deadly with nukes that people stopped having them because is was MAD...

          Excuse me, stopped having wars?

          Seriously though, I'm a smoker and I absolutely love smoking. I can spend 10 minutes doing abosolutely nothing but enjoying a cigarette. Don't ask me why, because I don't know. I can find plenty of worse ways to go [darwinawards.com]. Smoking really works for me and I don't mind trading off a few years of my life for it.

          I understand and respect how and why non-smokers can be annoyed by smoke, that's fine and understandable, but don't force your tired arguments down our throats. Smoking is a personal choice, so leave it at that, please. I've met one too many non-smokers who's been trying to "save me", which really just annoys me and won't ever work.

          • by quantaman (517394) on Sunday November 06, 2005 @05:36PM (#13964849)
            [...] we simply made war so deadly with nukes that people stopped having them because is was MAD...

            Excuse me, stopped having wars?

            Not sure if you were being sarcastic but that statement was qualified with the preceeding phrase "there hasn't been a full out war between major powers since WWII". Which to my knowledge is correct, the "we" in the quote you took was of course referring to the "major powers" and "war" was "war between major powers".

            Seriously though, I'm a smoker and I absolutely love smoking. I can spend 10 minutes doing abosolutely nothing but enjoying a cigarette. Don't ask me why, because I don't know. I can find plenty of worse ways to go. Smoking really works for me and I don't mind trading off a few years of my life for it.

            I understand and respect how and why non-smokers can be annoyed by smoke, that's fine and understandable, but don't force your tired arguments down our throats. Smoking is a personal choice, so leave it at that, please. I've met one too many non-smokers who's been trying to "save me", which really just annoys me and won't ever work.


            You sound like a nice person so I'd rather you didn't die a few years earlier, but that's just me. Note that in addition to your harming own health you are damaging the health of others, both directly through second hand smoke and indirectly through reinforcing the social acceptability of smoking. I don't know if you have children but if you did would you truly want your children to start smoking... did I just play the "won't sombody think of the children" card? (don't feel obliged to take that point seriously;)

            Either way if you really do like smoking and feel the cost is worth it than go ahead, but I'd ask you to be considerate of where you do smoke. Consider it like talking on your cellphone, alone in your house, sure, in a theatre, not so good. I can tell you I never really enjoy walking through a cloud of smoke (and smokers) hanging around the entrance to a building on campus. As well I've heard cigarette smoke can be extremely annoying to former smokers. Again, as with any decision look at all the different costs and benefits impartially and decide accordingly.
            • Yes, you're right. I was a bit fast on the reply-button there. No, we haven't had any all-out wars between major powers since ww2, but I'm not sure that can be attributed to nukes alone. The way of war has changed a lot too. Wars are now fought more through propaganda than ever before, just look at the media... "Keep the people scared, so they're more easilly convinced that invading every middle-eastern country is a capital idea!" :-p (Ok, j/k - at least about the last part of the former sentence.)

              You sou

    • by MarcQuadra (129430) * on Sunday November 06, 2005 @04:58PM (#13964601)
      Sure thing, then we'll replace ethanol with methanol so all the evil drinkers go blind or die, followed by poisoning bacon and fast food! Surely this will make the world a better place for the rest of us!

      I have another idea! We can force everyone to exercise every day, it would save a lot of lives! We'll make it a mandatory part of everyone's workday, right after the two-minutes'-hate.
  • Smoke isn't safe. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rayaru (898516) * on Sunday November 06, 2005 @03:46PM (#13964125) Homepage
    This quote from the article says it best:
    "Anything involving inhaling smoke is unsafe. These new cigarettes could be more like jumping from the 15th floor instead of the 20th: theoretically the risk is less but you still die."
    • by dasunt (249686)

      There is 160,000 lung cancer deaths alone in the US. The majority of this is due to cigarette smoking.

      If we could reduce this number by only 1%, that would result in over a thousand lives saved each year. If we could reduce it by 10%, it would be ober ten thousand lives saved each year.

    • Candles and Incense (Score:3, Interesting)

      by alphaseven (540122)
      That had me wondering, if all smoke is unsafe, what about going to church, are all those candles and incense unsafe? Turns out they may be, I found this bbc article... Church Air is 'Threat to Health' [bbc.co.uk].
  • by Dystopian Rebel (714995) on Sunday November 06, 2005 @03:47PM (#13964134) Journal
    the safer cocaine!

  • by dada21 (163177) * <adam.dada@gmail.com> on Sunday November 06, 2005 @03:47PM (#13964135) Homepage Journal
    No one in my family smoked ever, I was the first. I recently "quit" because of financial reasons, no health. In terms of health, I don't see the causation connection, especially in second hand smoke.

    My physician smokes 2+ packs a day. He's 80. He runs, avoids trans fats and high glycemic foods. Many of my older customers smoke but also maintain good diets and exercise.

    I started smoking at 21. I had bad bouts with kidney stones that no medications or diet helped. A San Francisco quack Chinese herbal nut told me to smoke. 5 years with zero kidney attacks. Giving it up at 26 gave me 3 years of kidney pains. Smoking again relieved it. Since I stopped a few weeks ago, the pains are back.

    My TMJ was also reduced from smoking. It has affected me since the age of 11.

    I'm not saying smoking is safe or healthy. I am saying it has some benefits, and the high carb high trans fat diet of most Westerners is far worse. If it wasn't for high taxes and tort suit payments, I'd continue to smoke. I know I live a healthier life because of it.

    By the way, I ran a half marathon while smoking 10 cigarettes, and am in great physical shape (good blood pressure, cholesterol, etc). Don't believe the hype.
    • by Alioth (221270) <no@spam> on Sunday November 06, 2005 @04:03PM (#13964243) Journal
      Your 80 year old doctor might smoke two packs a day, but my mother died age 48 of smoking related disease. She had a healthy diet, too. You can't draw a conclusion on the safety of smoking from a sample of two (you and your doctor).

      As far as passive smoking -vs- unhealthy diets, if someone on the next table eats a bag of pork rinds, my eyes don't start to water and I don't leave the building smelling like an ash-tray. If someone on the next table eats the world's healthiest dinner but lights up, I end up leaving smelling like an ash tray. That's the difference - a person's unhealthy diet doesn't affect nearby strangers but their smoking will. That's the main problem with second hand smoke. I couldn't care less if it's totally harmless to me in the long term - in the short term it gives me what feels like an allergic reaction (stuffiness, watering eyes, lethargy) which isn't very pleasant. That's why there is a move on to ban smoking in public places. In the privacy of your own home, knock yourself out - I couldn't care less whether you smoke marijuana or tobacco. But in enclosed public spaces, please refrain from it - those of us who don't smoke find it at best smelly, at worst, feeling a bit ill.
      • Driving cars puts smoke in the air as well. Peoples cars put out more chemicals than most smokers would. So where do you draw the line. Maybe they should ban driving around where people walk. Seems unreasonable doesnt it.
      • by zerus (108592) on Sunday November 06, 2005 @05:20PM (#13964752) Homepage
        Eventhough I abhor smoking (volunteering as med physicist til the ph.d is done), I still think that government mandated smoking bans in public places aren't right. It should be up to the business owner to decide to allow smoking or not. If people like you and me don't want to patronize a restaurant because they allow smoking, then the business owner loses our money. If enough people decide not to go there, then the business owner will disallow smoking to bring back business. It's the free market that should decide the ban on smoking, not the government. People have a right to do with their lives and property as they please. If people want to be morons and smoke, it's their decision since it's their lives, just as it's my decision not to smoke. If you choose to go to a bar, you're choosing to go where people smoke. You don't have to go there, because you have as much an option of going somewhere else that doesn't allow smoking. If you still decide to go because you think it's such a great place, then it reverts back to a good old cost-benefit tradeoff where you place having fun at the moment over your future health. It's your decision since no one is holding a gun to your head to go there, whereas a government mandated ban is essentially holding a gun to the heads of the business owners telling them they cannot allow smoking. Smokers have just as much right to congregate together and smoke as does anyone else.
      • by slamb (119285) * on Sunday November 06, 2005 @05:24PM (#13964769) Homepage
        I couldn't care less if it's totally harmless to me in the long term - in the short term it gives me what feels like an allergic reaction (stuffiness, watering eyes, lethargy) which isn't very pleasant. [...] But in enclosed public spaces, please refrain from it - those of us who don't smoke find it at best smelly, at worst, feeling a bit ill.

        Some of us more than a bit ill. Second-hand smoke causes me real short-term problems. I've heard people say that cigarette smoke isn't an allergen; it's chemical sensitivity. Whatever you call it, the effect is the similar to - but more potent than - my other allergies. My eyes burn and water, I cough and sneeze, and my sinuses fill, which often leads to a sinus infection, which means a week of misery and $100 of antibiotics. Probably a day missed from work. I used to live in Iowa, so there were a number of places I just couldn't go - bars, bowling alleys, etc. I had sinus surgery to to prevent the infections, with disappointing results.

        I've moved to California, where they have seen reason. I can go anywhere. I'm incredibly sensitive to smoke, so I do have occasional problems still. I'll smell smoke and see a coworker who walked past and is now 100 feet away; the smell lingers. If I smell it, I know it will cause me problems. If I don't smell it, it still might. (I once had a pretty bad reaction to a hotel room that smelled just fine to me. Never found out why.) I deliberately shun people who smell like smoke. If I am forced to be near them, I take a shower as soon as I get home.

    • by veeoh (444683) on Sunday November 06, 2005 @04:11PM (#13964310) Homepage
      >By the way, I ran a half marathon while smoking 10 cigarettes,

      All at the same time?

    • No, no, no (Score:4, Informative)

      by Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) on Sunday November 06, 2005 @04:14PM (#13964332) Homepage

      Disclaimer: I smoke, and after having tried to quit twice and turned into a raging hellbeast on account of it, I am going to wait until things are a bit more stable before I try again. Its actually quite entertaining in hindsight; there is a euphoric initial period, where all the senses that were dulled by the drug come roaring back (like pins and needles all over your body for days) followed closely by a manic depressive section, and then there is a long trudge through what can only be described as psychotic paranoia, in the true clinical sense. Small problems become niggling problems, which must be someones fault, and then these people must be taught not to make the same mistake again. Its pretty hard to keep in check.

      But hold on a second there sparky, the only evidence you present is anecdotal, and for all we know you could be pulling it directly from your posterior. Let me try...

      I had severe headaches since I was 18, but then I started smoking because after all the doctors couldn't help, a homeopathic practitioner mentioned it might be beneficial.

      Sounds just as good as yours, and is just as pulled out of my arse. Anyway the real issue isn't so much health as it is the addictive nature of nicotine. Its a drug, that has no benefits, is toxic in every respect, and it should be just as outlawed as heroin. I recall reading somewhere that the withdrawal symptoms are actually more severe, how true that is I cannot attest to. The only reason it is allowed is because it was in common use before the laws really started to crack down on drugs.

      Most smokers smoke and continue to do so because they like most people foolishly started in their rebellious teens, and are now hooked on the things well into adulthood.

      So stop talking shite.

      • by GeekyMike (575177) on Sunday November 06, 2005 @04:50PM (#13964541)
        I quit smoking 3 years ago while attending college full time and working full time at an ISP tech desk (phone support). I had smoked for about 9 years prior to that. I think if you really want to quit, you will, my (then) 3 year old girl telling me "Daddy, the cigarettes make you cough." I figured if my 3 year old can see that, I should be able to see that as well.

        I set a day and time for me to quit (Friday at 17:00) and chainsmoked up to that point. At 17:00 I placed the remainder of the pack on my counter and left them there. When I had a craving, I smelled the tobacco and placed the pack back on the counter. The aches from the wonderful chemicals leaving my joints were relieved by ibuprofin. And I kept saying to myself, I have gone (insert time) without a cigarette, I will wait a few hours and get one if I need it. The mantra kept repeating, setting goals and pushing them higher and higher.

        I threw the pack away three months later with the same contents as it had that Friday. Food and drinks tasted better, my newborn son's asthma went away (I smoked outside, but the smoke comes in on your hair, hands, and clothing), and my wallet was fuller.

        I feel so much better now that I would suggest quitting to anyone. People around you will understand if you are a bit of a Hellbeast, and will forgive you if you matter to them. If they don't, screw them they don't care for you anyway.
      • by Frogbert (589961) <frogbert@Nospam.gmail.com> on Sunday November 06, 2005 @05:53PM (#13964957)
        Next time you want to quit smoking here is my tip:

        When I first tried to quit I was just like you psycotic. I realised I needed to mellow out so the second time I tried I made sure I masturbated... heaps. It kept me calm, mellow and collected and was fun at the same time.
  • by ferrellcat (691126) * on Sunday November 06, 2005 @03:48PM (#13964144)
    And they're DELICIOUS! [oldtimecandy.com]
  • bans? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Janek Kozicki (722688) on Sunday November 06, 2005 @03:49PM (#13964146) Journal
    I wonder if this will have any impact on the no smoking bans we have seen in recent years?

    hopefully not. All the bans are not about health of smokers, it's about fresh air for non-smokers. Who cares if that stinking person over there inhales deadly stuff, or less deadly? It all stinks the same.
    • Re:bans? (Score:3, Informative)

      by nursegirl (914509)
      Also, TFA states that part of the "safer cigarette" thing is better filters, which doesn't help those inhaling second hand smoke. So, the smoker inhales less deadly stuff, but the person standing beside them - still inhaling poison.
      • Re:bans? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Homology (639438) on Sunday November 06, 2005 @04:18PM (#13964359)
        Also, TFA states that part of the "safer cigarette" thing is better filters, which doesn't help those inhaling second hand smoke. So, the smoker inhales less deadly stuff, but the person standing beside them - still inhaling poison.

        have you noticed the small holes on the filter? By covering those, you'll inhale more smoke and thus more nicotine. The tobacco industry made research on where to put those holes so that people will generall cover them.

        It's all about getting people hooked on nicotine addiction in order to sell more tobacco. This is a industry with long established practice of lying (including to the US Congress), faking research data and keeping "unwelcome" research from ever getting public.

    • Re:bans? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Surt (22457) on Sunday November 06, 2005 @04:02PM (#13964235) Homepage Journal
      Actually, most of the bans were built on the premise that the smoke was a health hazard to bystanders (especially employees). Having a genuinely health safe cigarette would reduce the bans to being about the bad odors, and would probably get them overturned in most of the places they have been established. Thankfully, however, even these 'safe' cigarrettes still pose a nice substantial health risk to bystanders, so this will have pretty much no impact.
    • Re:bans? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Charcharodon (611187) on Sunday November 06, 2005 @04:07PM (#13964267)
      As long as it goes hand in hand with a lift on the ban of punching people in the face for smoking near you, I see no reason why smoking bans couldn't be lifted.
  • Environment (Score:5, Interesting)

    by GenKreton (884088) on Sunday November 06, 2005 @03:49PM (#13964147) Journal
    And how will this even attempt to address the environmental issues concerned with smoking?

    Not only is it a useless and harmful pastime to people, it greatly hurts the environment. Up here in New England (USA) we even have stories of deer venturing onto roads to eat cigarette butts and causing accidents, all because they are addicted. It is also just unsightly to see them all over roads and sidewalks. All things considered it is harmful to everything and everyone.
  • Assuming they got rid of all the tar and carbon monoxide, they'd have to leave the nicotine in it to keep people smoking it. Nicotine is toxic, and not good for you. In small doses like in cigarettes, it won't kill you, but if you see someone who hasn't had their nicotine in the past while, then you know just how badly it can effect people.
  • "Tastes like sh** and smells like a fart!
    Got ourselves a real winner here!"

    Of course, for a non-smoker, that applies to all cigarettes.

  • Hmmmm... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 8127972 (73495) on Sunday November 06, 2005 @03:50PM (#13964156)
    "I wonder if this will have any impact on the no smoking bans we have seen in recent years?"

    Zero chance of it having any impact. From the article:

    "John Britton, professor of epidemiology at Nottingham University, said: "Anything involving inhaling smoke is unsafe. These new cigarettes could be more like jumping from the 15th floor instead of the 20th: theoretically the risk is less but you still die."

    To me it sounds like those "light" smokes that floating around. Safer in theory, but in reality they're still dangerous. So don't expect smoking bans to end anytime soon.
  • I don't want the smoking bans removed for one reason and one reason only: I don't like the smell.
    • I'll do you one better - I loathe the smell, and gives me horrible heaadaches if I smell too much of it.
    • exactly, smoking stinks
      The filters may be fine for those doing the smoking, but what about the rest of us who get stuck having to smell the other byproducts? If the location selection is up to me I'll avoid a place if I see people smoking, but where we go is not always up to me. Cigarette smoke is that nasty stuff that doesn't go away unless the ventalation system rivals that of a clean room. It gets into/onto everything, skin, hair, clothes and can't forget about food and drink, yes, you're eating what tha
    • With the smoking bans, nighclubs smell of farts and stale beer rather than of smoke.
  • by CaptainTux (658655) <papillion@gmail.com> on Sunday November 06, 2005 @03:53PM (#13964172) Homepage Journal
    As an American, I am appalled at the very idea of the government spending *any* money on developing a "safer cigarette". While that move might treat the physical effects of smoking and make it a safer alternative than traditional cigarettes, it does nothing to address the fact that smokers are *addicts* with a psychological dependence on a drug. Why not put money where it's really needed: addiction recovery. Develop drugs that are more effective at helping smokers quit, put more money into social campaigns against smoking (school, television, etc)? It amazes me sometimes how we Americans will find ways to make bad things acceptable and safer if it makes us money instead of just putting a stop to its use.
    • As an American, I am appalled at the very idea of the government spending *any* money on developing a "safer cigarette".


      What has the government got to do with anything?

    • Right! The Government should also ban coffee, sugary foods, television, and Slashdot, because they're *addictive*.

      Oh, wait, now you don't support banning something because it's addictive?

      People need to make their own decisions. That's the entire bloody POINT of the United States, at least it used to be. If you want to smoke, great, go for it. Drink all the booze you want, go for a bender, and that's fine, although you have to live with the consequences. The government has no say in how much of an idiot
      • Question: why should other drugs be banned and not tobacco? Marijuana, heroin, cocaine, acid, shrooms, ecstasy, etc, etc, etc. If the whole point of the United States is you get to make your own decisions, why can you for tobacco and not weed?
  • by rsilvergun (571051) on Sunday November 06, 2005 @03:53PM (#13964176)
    why not just make it without Nicotine? Safest thing in the world then, nobody'll want them.
  • by Dominic Burns (673810) <[dominicburns] [at] [blueyonder.co.uk]> on Sunday November 06, 2005 @03:54PM (#13964179)
    To all you puritan non-smokers, I say good luck - hope you enjoy the old folks' home!!

    Haaaaaa-ha-ha-ha-ha-haaaaarggghhhhh!!!!

    *cough*
  • passive smoking (Score:3, Interesting)

    by The Famous Druid (89404) on Sunday November 06, 2005 @03:54PM (#13964181)
    I wonder if this will have any impact on the no smoking bans we have seen in recent years?

    Most of the 'added safety' is in the filter.
    Much of the passive smoke comes straight from the cigarette tip without passing through the filter, so there's little change there.
  • Smoking Bans... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by zokrath (593920) on Sunday November 06, 2005 @03:57PM (#13964201)
    Most smoking bans are not in place because of disease concerns, but rather because many people find smoke to be distracting anf foul smelling.
    One cigarrette can lessen a dining or movie experience for a large number of people, and over time the smoke and ash saturate the environment.
    Thus even if there are nos mokers present, it can still smell, and therefore taste, of smoke.

    If I were addicted to highly concentrated sulfur fumes, or banging symbols loudly, I would not expect establishments to tolerate me.

    Crying babies are another issue, but at least the baby will eventually grow up into a productive member of society. In theory, that is.
  • by radarsat1 (786772) on Sunday November 06, 2005 @03:58PM (#13964211) Homepage
    I dunno about you, but I, for one, enjoy a little second hand smoke with my coffee in the morning.
  • The Racket (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sco08y (615665) on Sunday November 06, 2005 @03:59PM (#13964221)
    We can't have safe cigarettes. If people had safe cigarettes there wouldn't be any excuse to levy massive taxes on them. Poor minorities generally get a break on taxes, in practice because they don't have much money to take, but in rhetoric because we dislike regressive taxation. However, they also make up the vast bulk of cigarette smokers, and it's okay to demonize cigarette smokers. So under the pretense of discouraging cigarette smoking, politicians can impose a regressive racist tax.

    If our government weren't addicted to the $15.7 billion dollars in taxes [mises.org] they collect on an annual basis from cigarettes, we would get safe cigarettes in a heartbeat. Right now, though, too many pet projects depend on cigarettes being dangerous for that to change.
    • Re:The Racket (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MasterOfDisaster (248401) <(kristopf) (at) (gmail.com)> on Sunday November 06, 2005 @04:29PM (#13964418) Homepage Journal
      If our government weren't addicted to the $15.7 billion dollars in taxes they collect on an annual basis from cigarettes, we would get safe cigarettes in a heartbeat.

      It's quotes like that that really make me wonder why our goverment doesn't legalize marijuana and tax it like tobacco. Save billions on enforcement (~80% of drug arrests are marijuana possession), and make tens of billions in taxes.

      Maybe they're too to stoned to realize.
    • Re:The Racket (Score:4, Insightful)

      by east coast (590680) on Sunday November 06, 2005 @04:35PM (#13964453)
      We can't have safe cigarettes. If people had safe cigarettes there wouldn't be any excuse to levy massive taxes on them.

      You really think the government needs a reason to tax? Please. Taxing something unpopular is easy to do because the powers that be know that they aren't offending the majority. We know that red meat is unhealthy and is probably just as costly to society in the way of illness and death but when do you expect to pay a tax on Big Macs? The difference? 1 in 6 people in the US smokes, 29 in 30 people in the US eats red meat. (those are rough figures, you get the point).

      So under the pretense of discouraging cigarette smoking, politicians can impose a regressive racist tax.

      Racist? How, praytell, is "the man" forcing these smokes on the minority races? No one is forcing anyone to smoke. It's odd that "the poor" (which you seem to associate directly with minority races) seem to bitch and moan about every cent they spend in taxes as they smoke away a large percentage of their income. Not smoking is a very valid option. I will not be made to feel bad about the fact that minorities make up for the bulk of the poor and for whatever reason these same people feel the need to piss away what little expendable cash they have on smokes. It's their choice, I won't begrudge them for it but don't make it sound like they're somehow the victim. Just because you're poor doesn't mean you need to act stupid.

      This is like some of the old women that work at the company I work for; they're on their smoke breaks bitching about gas costing 75 cents more a gallon as they puff away and talk about spending money on the Powerball lottery but in nearly the same breath they complain that if the price of gas continues to be high they will have to make the choice between "eating and driving". This is no bullshit. If you're spending 4-5 USD a day on cigarettes there should be no reason for bills to be late nor for you to not have enough money for some of the basic needs in life. I won't even go on to my thoughts about the people who pay for their groceries with foodstamps but buy a couple of cartons of smokes either...
  • by j_philipp (803945) on Sunday November 06, 2005 @04:16PM (#13964352) Homepage
    Hey! I predicted this. [faketoday.com]
  • by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Sunday November 06, 2005 @04:24PM (#13964388) Homepage Journal
    Nor is it safe in any way to inhale smoke of any sort. No matter what you do to make the cigarette safer, you're not eliminating it's burning and smoke. The smoke is still going to be toxic, and even if it wasn't, it's certainly not good to inhale something that's about 200 degrees directly into your lungs anyways. Screw what any tobacco company says.
  • I am a smoker (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Deliveranc3 (629997) <deliverance AT level4 DOT org> on Sunday November 06, 2005 @04:27PM (#13964409) Journal
    Ciggarrets should be taxed based on their level of health risk.

    It's obvious...

    That's it.
    • Re:I am a smoker (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ltwally (313043)
      I wish like mad that I had the links to back up what I'm about to say, but I guess you'll just have to take my word for it, or do the research yourself.

      About 18 months ago, I'd heard a friend that smokes complaining about how much tax money the government made off of smokers... so I took it upon myself to do a little research. With the help of Google, I was able to locate the relevant U.S. federal government sites. As it turns out, with the insane amount of money that is spent on tobacco smoking relate
  • Save me from them! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bcrowell (177657) on Sunday November 06, 2005 @05:09PM (#13964683) Homepage
    I hope this never happens. I think I've smoked exactly three cigarettes in my life, to see what it was like. I thought it was pleasurable, but I carefully controlled my experimentation so that I wouldn't get hooked on nicotine (which is more addictive than heroin). If there were safe cigarettes, it seems quite possible that I'd adopt an expensive, dirty, socially deprecated habit, because I'd no longer have the threat of cancer as motivation not to.
  • My smoking rule: (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Hosiah (849792) on Sunday November 06, 2005 @05:26PM (#13964779)
    If it doesn't grow out of the ground, don't smoke it.

    This lets all cigarettes off the list, as very little of their content is actual tobacco. The rest is chemicals, mostly formulated to give you an intense rush and keep you addicted. Try smoking pure tobacco out of a pipe for a week. You'll feel better, and you won't get dizzy with the rush of the first smoke of the morning, it tastes and smells better (non-smokers always compliment the aroma of a pipe; when did that ever happen with a Marlboro?), and, while you'll still have the habit, it won't be as extreme. Natural tobacco doesn't make you feel like a crack addict who's going to snap if you don't get your fix NOW! - it's a kinder, gentler urge which makes it easier to gradually cut down. You can make it through a whole day without and it doesn't drive you crazy.

    PS Cigarettes are the only thing I can think of that one can purchase for ingestion that doesn't have any ingredient information at all. Everything else - including gum, medicine, and even things you don't ingest like cleaning products has the components listed in meticulous detail. What do you suppose the big secret is?

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