In 2009, the Food and Drug Administration gained authority to regulate tobacco products, and now they will soon be exercising that ability. Already releasing preliminary guidelines for the tobacco industry that can educate consumers on exactly what is in cigarettes, the FDA is making it so tobacco companies will have to report on the amount of harmful and unsafe ingredients used in their products.
The Dangerous Ingredients in Tobacco Products
Within one year, the FDA plans to share information on chemical amounts, while tobacco makers will be required to report on the amount of 93 substances used in their products. This means that harmful ingredients used such as ammonia and formaldehyde will need to be made known to the public. This decision will certainly ignite a slew of ingredient-based information regarding tobacco products.
“We are forging new territory to ensure that tobacco companies provide accurate information and do not mislead American consumers. We are committed to stopping such practices that may cause people to start or continue using tobacco products that could lead to preventable disease and death,” FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said in a statement.
There are over 4,000 individual compounds identified in tobacco and tobacco smoke, with at least 60 of them being known carcinogens. How would you feel after finding out that with every cigarette comes a dose of insecticide, car exhaust, gas chamber poison, ant poison, floor cleaner, mothballs, and nuclear weapon material? The fact is, there are hundreds of chemicals in tobacco products (and cigarettes especially) that people don’t even know about.
- Insecticide – nicotine
- Car exhaust – carbon monoxide
- Gas chamber poison – hydrogen cyanide
- Ant poison – ammonia
- Mothballs – naphthalene
- Nuclear power – radioactive compounds
While this kind of information won’t be responsible for ending the bad habit of smoking for the majority of individuals, it may serve to kick the habit for many. Even while smoking and tobacco use is already known to cause various cancers such as lung cancer, throat cancer, and stomach cancer, the health damaging aspects of smoking aren’t enough for people to quit. But now, seeing “formaldehyde”, “lead”, and “arsenic” on the label may just be enough to cause many people to finally quit smoking and tobacco use.