Cigarettes sold in Africa more toxic than those smoked in Europe, finds Public Eye investigation

Author: Marie Maurisse, Public Eye, Published on: 5 February 2019

"The blazing success of Swiss cigarettes in Africa", Jan 2019

Switzerland exports more cigarettes than it does chocolate. Exclusive tests show that the tobacco industry has double standards: cigarettes sold in Africa are more toxic than those smoked in Europe...

They are always the same – Winston, Camel and Marlboro...

Japan Tobacco International, the producer of Winston and Camel cigarettes [...] [said]: “All products linked to tobacco are associated with health risks.” Therefore, “no standardised methodology can reproduce consumers’ true consumption habits”. The firm thus considers the results imprecise. Moreover, “no one can say that one cigarette is less toxic than another in terms of matters such as taste”...

The press office at Philip Morris International states that “consumers around the world have different preferences. Tobacco is selected on the basis of these preferences according to the specific mixes and grades of leaves required to maintain consistency in the characteristics of each brand, like Marlboro Rouge.

Why do Marlboros sold in Morocco contain more tar than those smoked in Switzerland? “We advise against focusing solely on tar content” the producer replies. There is scientific consensus that ‘tar’ is not a precise indicator of the risk or damage, and communicating ‘tar’ levels is misleading for consumers. As for the nicotine results, which were found to be higher than those stated on the packet, “they comply with the requirements of ISO 8243 which authorises a certain discrepancy”...

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Related companies: Japan Tobacco International Philip Morris International