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Safe Cigarettes?

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the taking-out-all-the-fun-stuff dept.

Science 844

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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844 comments

Still Safe? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13964112)

I thought the tobacco industry said that their products already were safe? So these would be just the same again, right?

tobacco still sucks (5, Insightful)

hector_uk (882132) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964113)

it's still an addictive expensive drug.

Re:tobacco still sucks (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13964203)

Why don't you haul your ignorant bigoted ass over to the alt.smokers.pipes newsgroup and learn something before parroting what the anti-smoking nazis have taught you.

Re:tobacco still sucks (1)

FinestLittleSpace (719663) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964216)

or why don't you realise that what he said is totally true?

Re:tobacco still sucks (1)

Brushfireb (635997) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964253)

I wont comment on the bad part, but its only expensive becuase its taxed ridiculously to make it expensive. The idea is/was that on some level, tobacco is a price-sensitive good and that people might use less as it became more expensive. I think it seems pretty obvious that its not.

And if the GP meant expensive in the societal-sense, then butter or fast food is much worse.

Re:tobacco still sucks - canabis (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13964261)

Many of us use tobacco to mix with canabis. this makes it burn in a better way, and helps us to regulate dose...

we'd like to see something nicotine free, but burn well. we're going to do canabis whether it's legal or not, as will other smokers smoke. I think this sort of thing is a good thing for most involved.

if they legalised pot, and made better ways of regulating the doses I'm sure we'd all be a lot happier!

Re:tobacco still sucks (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13964316)

It's expensive because the idiots in the government make it so.

Phillip Morris says... (5, Insightful)

Palal (836081) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964114)

"There is no safe cigarette." I think that's all we need to know.

Re:Phillip Morris says... (1)

Parham (892904) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964154)

It's only save when they cut the risk of smoking-related diseases such as cancer and heart failure by up to 100%...

Re:Phillip Morris says... (2, Insightful)

psmears (629712) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964189)

It's only save when they cut the risk of smoking-related diseases such as cancer and heart failure by up to 100%

It's only safe when the cut the risk of smoking-related diseases by at least 100%...

;-)

Re:Phillip Morris says... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13964192)

nark

Philip Morris LIES (5, Informative)

ikewillis (586793) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964301)

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.

Awesome! (1)

dhakbar (783117) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964115)

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!

We need deadlier cigarettes (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Yes! deadlier cigarettes! (3, Funny)

MacFury (659201) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964155)

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?

Re:We need deadlier cigarettes (3, Interesting)

IdleTime (561841) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964165)

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 we have? Then we will not be having this discussion in the future!

The difference is... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13964241)

Smoking has no beneficial purpose. Cars, materials and cell phones do. Even nuclear weapons are a good deterrent.

Smoke isn't safe. (5, Insightful)

Rayaru (898516) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964125)

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."

Re:Smoke isn't safe. (1)

PhotoBoy (684898) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964188)

Indeed, I'm sure the timing of this "wonder drug" has nothing to do with the imminent ban of smoking in public places that the government is planning too.

Re:Exactly (1)

symbolic (11752) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964222)


This is why it should have NO effect on smoking bans. No matter how you slice it, when you smoke anywhere in public, you ARE imposing on those around you- and it's not just a minor annoyance, it's a health issue.

Re:Exactly (1)

Brushfireb (635997) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964293)

I think you are right, on some level. But its also kind of silly. When in society, you have to learn to deal with others, even if they do things you dont like. Its called life.

It annoys me when a person on an escalator is slow or fat, and I cant get around them. Do I have any rights in that situation? No.

It bothers me when people drive ridiculously slow or fast, when they park oddly, when they drive huge SUV's that are bad for the environment. Do I have any rights in that situation? No.

Sometimes keeping things safe for the masses is bad. Life isnt safe. Learn to deal with it.

Well (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13964129)

How about just not smoking?

Cause or Risk Factor? (warning pro-smoking) (5, Interesting)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964135)

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.

Re:Cause or Risk Factor? (warning pro-smoking) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13964161)

My uncle died a slow painful death from smoking. I choose not to take the risk.

Re:Cause or Risk Factor? (warning pro-smoking) (1, Insightful)

NotMyNickName (922171) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964170)

Don't believe the hype.

I believe the science. Also personal experience. I watched my grandfater die a painful death from lung cancer. I know smokers who can run a marathon and I know smokers who can't run at all. A family friend died at 55 from lung cancer. It's not hype.

Re:Cause or Risk Factor? (warning pro-smoking) (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964209)

The neighborhood I grew up in had 7 neighbors of mine die from lung cancer. Not one smoked.

It was later found that all had high radon in the ground.

Smoking has dangers, so does sex, driving fast, and eating sugar. Risk factors can be balanced with those that reduce risk.

I got one better for you (1)

CiXeL (56313) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964227)

everyone living in los angeles dies with blackened lungs from the smog and particulate matter in the air.

Re:Cause or Risk Factor? (warning pro-smoking) (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13964210)

Morris, is that you?

Re:Cause or Risk Factor? (warning pro-smoking) (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13964215)

Pull the other one ... you claim you are not saying smoking is safe or healthy but your "anecdotes" certainly imply that. Be my guest and smoke as many cigarettes as you want - there's no law against stupidity.

Re:Cause or Risk Factor? (warning pro-smoking) (5, Insightful)

Alioth (221270) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964243)

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.

Re:Cause or Risk Factor? (warning pro-smoking) (1)

nursegirl (914509) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964302)

Medical research is meaningless when it comes down to an n of 1. We know that the toxins in tobacco are likely to affect lung cilia as well as cause other damage. We can't tell you (n=1) whether the damage caused to your lungs by this one factor will cumatively cause enough damage to have a substantial influence on your health, because of all of the other factors we don't know in terms of your genetics, other health choices, other exposure to toxins, etc.

That doesn't mean that there is no proof of causation. It means that causation is mitigated by a whole host of other factors

Re:Cause or Risk Factor? (warning pro-smoking) (5, Funny)

veeoh (444683) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964310)

>By the way, I ran a half marathon while smoking 10 cigarettes,

All at the same time?

No, no, no (3, Informative)

Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964332)

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.

I, for one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13964138)

would be more interested in getting my hands on some safe2smoke crack.

Doubtful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13964142)

I wonder if this will have any impact on the no smoking bans we have seen in recent years?

Health concerns are only part of the problem. Us non-smokers don't want public places fouled up by the stink of smoke everywhere.

I also question calling this "safe". 10% as harmful as normal cigarettes is still pretty deadly. How many people who would otherwise have given up smoking will now carry on smoking because they think it's "safe"?

Re:Doubtful (4, Insightful)

v1 (525388) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964270)

I don't think a "safer" cigarette is going to convince people not to mind others smoking in public places. Most people's immediate concern is the eye irritation and noxious odor of second hand smoke, not the long term effects. Safer isn't going to solve the problems people are first concerned with. Also, most "safer" cigarettes are safer because they have very agressive filters in them. That's something that the second hand smoke recipients cannot benefit from.

That, and put a smoker in a room with someone that has a "different annoying habit"... like projectile vomiting. See how long they continue to believe that everyone has the "right to be annoying to the public".

no... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13964143)

...because the smoking bans was due more to nonsmokers being inconvenienced by people in restaurants that smoked rather than the health of the smoker

bans? (5, Insightful)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964146)

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? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13964187)

You're still bitter that smokings cool an your to much of a chicken to do it.

Regards
Peer

Re:bans? (3, Informative)

nursegirl (914509) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964205)

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? (4, Insightful)

Surt (22457) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964235)

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? (1)

jonoid (863970) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964239)

As someone with a sensitive nose to smoke, I find the smell of cigarette smoke to be quite bad. Living in Toronto, Canada, I don't have to worry about people smoking indoors in restaurants or bars. However, the smokers usually congregate outside to the patio, which in the summer is the best place to be. Even sitting ten feet away still allows smoke to waft over to my direction. The idea of a safer cigarette is good for those who insist on smoking, however, I doubt it will benefit those who currently receive second-hand smoke.

Re:bans? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13964250)

Who cares if that stinking person over there inhales deadly stuff, or less deadly?

I do, because smokers are a big part of the reason why insurances are so costly (unless you go term).

Re:bans? (4, Insightful)

Charcharodon (611187) | more than 8 years ago | (#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 (4, Interesting)

GenKreton (884088) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964147)

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.

Re:Environment (4, Funny)

dr_labrat (15478) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964182)

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.

Yeah. Those damn deer should be kept well away from roads and sidewalks... They are a nuisance.

Re:Environment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13964240)

And how will this even attempt to address the environmental issues concerned with smoking?

I think the quickest way to improve the environment would be to round up all the Smoke Nazis, and whack off their peckers with a dull meat cleaver.

But what about the nicotine (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964148)

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.

Barbarians at the Gate (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964152)

"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.

Re:Barbarians at the Gate (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964271)

Even as a smoker, I think they stink and taste awful.
I suppose I'm one step away from stopping.

Its just a matter of changing my attitude :)

Hmmmm... (2, Insightful)

8127972 (73495) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Re:Hmmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13964202)

As the article says.. the filters might be better for smokes but the problems is still the same for passive smokers so the bans are here to stay.

One thing I've always wondered is why the use whiteners for the papers used in cigarettes, that's just adding another compound that must be neutralized or inhaled.

Re:Hmmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13964322)

Safer in theory, but in reality they're still dangerous.

You do realize that's not actually a contradiction, right?

Don't remove bans please (1)

illumina+us (615188) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964157)

I don't want the smoking bans removed for one reason and one reason only: I don't like the smell.

Re:Don't remove bans please (2, Insightful)

rincebrain (776480) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964257)

I'll do you one better - I loathe the smell, and gives me horrible heaadaches if I smell too much of it.

Re:Don't remove bans please (1)

AllergicToMilk (653529) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964317)

If the health hazard were not there, how would smoking be differnt than speaking? Both are potential attacks on one of the senses. We mandate freedom of speech and broaden the meaning almost infinitely such that in the absense of liability smoking would almost certainly be included.

safer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13964159)

Safer for who? The smoker or those who get to inhale the second hand smoke?

No reason (1)

karvind (833059) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964169)

From the article: "Cigarette smoke contains about 4,000 different chemicals, many of which are toxic. These filters and tobaccos can make no more than a marginal difference."

No reason to get into this addiction. Cigarettes in US are expensive and if you are chain smoker you will be pinching your wallet. Needless to say about the future medical costs. I wonder if insurance companies charge more for smokers as compared to non-smokers.

NY state law prohibits smoking inside any public building including bars/pubs. I second that law. Now if I they can make cigarette with mouth-freshners as well, it would be perfect.

Re:No reason (1)

Yartrebo (690383) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964230)

I don't know about medical insurance, but life insurance is much more expensive for smokers than non-smokers. Whenever you see ads touting life insurance rates, the fine print always says that it is for non-smokers only.

And I do think it's fair, considering that smoking is the second largest source of preventable death (after heart disease - but that's a much harder problem to tackle than smoking).

Re:No reason (1)

MrScary (39957) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964304)

Yes some insurance companies do charge more for smokers. My employer charges an extra $28.00 a month for smokers. On top of that if you lie about it they can reprimand you for it.

Re:No reason (1)

Limburgher (523006) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964313)

I wonder if insurance companies charge more for smokers as compared to non-smokers.

Most do. My company had us fill out a form and get it signed by our doctors. If we get certified as non-tobacco by our doctors, we get a break on premiums.

Just like the USA... (4, Insightful)

CaptainTux (658655) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964172)

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.

The government? (1)

ctid (449118) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964186)

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?

Re:Just like the USA... (2, Interesting)

Hiro Antagonist (310179) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964298)

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 you can be, and in fact, being a rank moron seems to enhance your political abilities...

That being said, there is nothing wrong with the government making it *safer* to make bad decisions. You can still get drunk, but you can rest assured that your bottle of Jack Daniels doesn't contain large amounts of formaldehyde -- and this is a Good Thing. Likewise, helping current smokers have a better quality of life by making their addiction less harmful is also good.

I'm not a smoker -- used to be, but quit when I started boxing and climbing, and haven't smoked for awhile, but I still *know* and *care* about people who *do* smoke, and while I'd like them to quit, I'm not so much of an asshole as to think that they somehow *deserve* to die because they're addicted to smoking. I know there's a huge stigma against tobacco, and this is well-deserved, but to treat the problem of tobacco addiction as a black-and-white 'quit' or 'don't quit' issue is narrow-minded in the worst sense -- why not give people more options? Isn't that what our supposedly free country is all about?

Rather than a 'Safe Cigarette' (5, Insightful)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964176)

why not just make it without Nicotine? Safest thing in the world then, nobody'll want them.

I smoke like a trooper (5, Funny)

Dominic Burns (673810) | more than 8 years ago | (#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 (2, Interesting)

The Famous Druid (89404) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Probably will have no effect on smoking bans... (1)

hbattraw (112806) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964185)

Because you probably still wont be able to tell which is which. If they outlawed "normal" cancerous cigarettes, then they might be able to coax people into dropping the bans. That way cigarettes would not be any worse than the most offensive cologne you could possibly imagine.

There goes my plan... (1)

neovoxx (818095) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964190)

Just when I figured out I get 7 minutes closer to Jesus with every cigarette, these guys had to go and screw it up.

Making money on addicts, not cool! (2, Interesting)

ILKO_deresolution (352578) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964196)

I don't care what you say about smoking and how if you don't realise that putting
smoke in your lungs is bad for you blah blah blah because some people where brought
up around it. The fact is that _many_ people are addicted and the government is
making _big_ money from addictions! That's wrong in retrospect being that the gov
doesn't even provide patches or gum with all the money they make!
Maybe I'm wrong and they spend all that money on health care?

Safe Smoking (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964198)

I'm too lazy to look it up myself, but someone here probably knows it: how many people actually die of smoking - both because they smoke and because other smoke? How does that compare to other causes (bad diet, traffic accidents, ...)? Would a 90% reduction cause the chances of dying of smoking below the noise threshold?

And, just for fun...what's the chance of dying of plain old age, compared to the risk of dying of any of the human induced causes?

Re:Safe Smoking (1)

corngrower (738661) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964320)

About 85% of lung cancer deaths are from smoking. I'm not sure how prevalent this is as far as the total percentage of deaths go.

Smoking Bans... (3, Insightful)

zokrath (593920) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Re:Smoking Bans... (1)

MrP- (45616) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964219)

"but at least the baby will eventually grow up into a productive member of society."

or a smoker

as if it matters (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13964206)

Who cares if they're safer, they're still bloody obnoxious to inflict on others in public places. Persons smoking in violation of bans should have their thumbs cut off.

Re:as if it matters (1)

ILKO_deresolution (352578) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964260)

hehehe whaoooo! that reminds me of last friday when I was at the theatre in Minneapolis...
This dude was so drunk and lit up a smoke IN THE THEATRE! nobody said anything..hehehehe
Maybe shock them with a defib....you...later..you know what im sayin.

Safer second-hand smoke? (2, Insightful)

radarsat1 (786772) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964211)

I dunno about you, but I, for one, enjoy a little second hand smoke with my coffee in the morning.

No way (1)

NMZNMZNMZ (903066) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964213)

I wonder if this will have any impact on the no smoking bans we have seen in recent years.

So long as they keep smelling like shit, that's a big NO!

The Racket (2, Interesting)

sco08y (615665) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Standard escape clause (1)

Lead Butthead (321013) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964242)

...cut the risk of smoking-related diseases such as cancer and heart failure by up to 90%.
Meaning it's anywhere from 0% to 90%. In the end they're still just playing word game.

The rest of us still have to breathe the smoke (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964248)

I don't think this cigarette will do much to alter the antipathy the majority of US citizens have towards smoking in general. I hate it when my asthma gets set off by the idiots who light up behind me at the train station. Back when restaurants around here allowed smoking, I hated it when they'd seat you in "non-smoking" and it turned out to be a couple tables surrounded by smoking-allowed tables. Do I vote for every restriction on cigarette use that makes it to the ballot? You bet!

Most people - here in the US anyway - do not smoke. If the tobacco companies want to make smoking more acceptable again, addressing the health issues isn't enough. They have to address the huge annoyance factor associated with cigarette smoking that all of us non-smokers are far too familiar with.

Barbarians at the Gate. (1)

elister (898073) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964266)

Interesting movie, in it RJR Nabisco have made a smoke-less cigarette. The only problem is, when lit up with a match, the sulfur in the match caused cigarette to smell like shit. Millions of dollars spent on this product and in the end they had to ... er dump it. As a former smoker, there is no way in hell im going to go back to smoking, safe or not, its too expensive, I might as well switch to Marijuana. Tobacco will end up costing the same amount in 10-20 years.

It doesn't matter (1)

MattskEE (925706) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964274)

No matter how healthy cigarettes become, you're still inhaling disgusting smoke. I'm still going to cough if everyone is lighting up, and leave restaurants that allow smoking. I'll still support laws banning smoking in public areas.

Cigar/ette (1, Informative)

trollable (928694) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964287)

Right, cigarettes don't smell good. But You, US citizens, are quite lucky. You can just sail to Cuba to buy excellent cigars. Think different. Try a Romeo y Julieta Corona Cigar. And you will relax.

I don't understand. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13964289)

A tobacco companie comes out with a 'safer cigarette' that can cut cancer by '90%' and instead of praising the company, you all bash it. Someone shed light, plz.

'5th element' (1)

cprice (143407) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964314)

5th element was on TBS this AM, and it shows Bruce Willis smoking a cig with about 3" of filter on it and an half inch of tobacco paper...

Smoking Bans (1)

cpritchett (210923) | more than 8 years ago | (#13964328)

I'm a non-smoker, but I've never really understood smoking bans. If a restaurant chooses to not have a "smoking section" (which I'll admit is pretty much in name only), then they run the risk of losing customers that do not smoke and don't wish to breathe it. But do the customers they are driving away have the legal right to eat at that restaurant?

If there's something I don't like about a restaurant, then I choose to not patron it and hope that enough people will do the same so that they get the idea.

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