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UK No Smoking Day - for the Animals

10th March 2010

National No Smoking Day � if you won't give up for your health, do it for the animals! BUAV exposes continued animal testing of cigarettes

To coincide with National No Smoking Day on March 10th, the BUAV is highlighting the shocking smoking experiments that continue to be carried out on animals by tobacco company giants Philip Morris (manufacturers of Marlboro) and RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company (manufacturers of Camel).

The BUAV has discovered a shocking spate of recent experiments in which animals are still being restrained and forced to breathe smoke to test the 'safety' of cigarette ingredients and even brands such as Marlboro Lights. In the UK, experiments to test cigarettes are no longer allowed and yet these studies continue to be conducted in company laboratories in Europe and the USA.

For example, Philip Morris research groups from the USA, Belgium and Germany have recently conducted a series of experiments in which hundreds of young rats were forced into small tubes and made to inhale smoke for 6 hours a day for 90 days. The rats could not avoid the smoke. Their restraint was so severe that some died of suffocation, apparently while trying to escape. At the end of the study, those animals who were still alive were killed and their bodies examined. Not surprisingly, all the animals had suffered damage to their respiratory system.

These ghastly experiments were carried out to look at the effects of adding benign substances such as vanillin to improve the 'quality' of cigarettes. One experiment also compared the toxicology of various brands of cigarettes such as Marlboro full flavour, Marlboro Lights, and Marlboro Ultra Lights. There were so many differences between the three brands that the company could only conclude that neither brand was 'safer' than the other.

In another study, carried out by R J Reynolds in the USA, over 1000 mice and rats were used to see whether the use of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is safe to use as an ingredient in cigarettes because it would be cheaper to use. Hundreds of rats were forced to inhale the HFCS-laced smoke while being squeezed inside glass tubes for 1 hour a day, 5 days a week for 13 weeks. Over 500 mice were 'painted' with liquefied cigarette smoke to see if it would cause skin cancer. Seventy-four mice died before the end of the experiment some 30 weeks later. BUAV's Chief Executive, Michelle Thew states: "It is outrageous that in this day and age, tobacco companies continue to subject animals to these horrific smoking tests when we all know how harmful smoking is to our health. Smoking is a lifestyle choice for humans and it is unacceptable that animals should suffer and die simply in an effort for companies to modify their products."

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