Saturday, September 02, 2006

Tobacco companies increasing nicotine for kids

A new study reported by the Boston Globe has found that tobacco companies have been slowly and quietly increasing the amount of nicotine in cigarettes, particularly the brands smoked by children.

Between 1998 and 2004, the amount of nicotine per cigarette had increased in 92 of 116 cigarette brands. 52 of those brands had increased by more than 10%.

Nicotine, apart from being quite poisonous, is the major addictive component of cigarettes.

The amount of nicotine in Marlboro products, the brand of choice of two-thirds of high school smokers, had increased by 12%.

I'm in favour of liberalising drug laws, but one factor which gives me pause is the behaviour of the tobacco companies. We've seen how the tobacco companies covered-up evidence that their products were toxic, deliberately marketed their drug to children, filled their products with toxic fillers to make them burn faster, and other immoral, anti-social acts. If and when the so-called "hard" drugs are legalised, what will prevent the suppliers from acting with reckless disregard for people's well-being, as the tobacco companies do?

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