Cigarettes made more palatable for youth

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Tobacco companies have been adding substances to cigarettes to make them more addictive, reports Dutch Protestant newspaper Nederlands Dagblad. Guidelines issued by the World Health Organisation WHO have not been incorporated in to national legislation.

The Dutch public health care watchdog RIVM monitors the use of additives – more than a thousand different sorts have been registered – but has not banned any of them.

WHO’s guidelines Last November, delegates from 170 countries signed a UN tobacco control treaty during a conference on tobacco in Uruguay. The treaty also called on the tobacco industry to disclose their products’ ingredients. Some of the substances added to cigarettes are used to increase the addictive kick, others to make cigarettes more appealing. The total amount of additives in cigarettes accounts for ten percent of the weight of a cigarette.

Palatable for youth Sweeteners and chocolate are used to make cigarettes more palatable to younger smokers. Eugenol and menthol numb the throat to mask the aggravating effects of the smoke. Additives like cocoa dilate the airways allowing the smoke an easier passage into the lungs.

The WHO points out that cigarette-smoking kills more people than Aids, road accidents, illegal drugs, murder and suicide combined.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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