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Wed 31 Mar 2010 09:44 AM

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Cigarette filters may contain pig's blood - warning

Dutch research says pig's blood may be used as processing aid in cigarette filters.

An Australian academic has warned that cigarette filters may contain traces of pig’s blood, in news that will spark concerns among religious groups.

University of Sydney professor, Simon Chapman, said recent Dutch research had identified 185 separate industrial uses for a pig – including the use of haemoglobin in cigarette filters.

The protein, found in red blood cells, increases the effectiveness of filters in trapping harmful chemicals before they enter a smoker’s lung, the research showed.

Tobacco firms are not required to disclose full content lists for cigarettes, Prof Chapman said.

"I think that there would be some particularly devout groups who would find the idea that there were pig products in cigarettes to be very offensive," he told the Sydney Daily Telegraph.

“It just puts into hard relief the problem that the tobacco industry is not required to declare the ingredients of cigarettes ... they say `that's our business` and a trade secret.”

A number of tobacco companies do voluntarily list the ingredients of their products.

However, they also utilise the catch-all phrase ‘processing aids’ to hide an array of chemicals and other substances included in cigarettes, Prof Chapman said.

“If you're a smoker and you're of Islamic faith, you probably would want to know and there is no way of finding out.”

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Emma 10 years ago

If you are of islamic faith you shouldn't be smoking in the first place really? Correct me if im wrong!

Punky Brewster 10 years ago

Let's see how many Muslims give up smoking now! Infact, it might even turn out to be a blessing in disguise, better late than never.

Malik Alamgir 10 years ago

Yes you are absolutely right Emma, in Islam its very much clear that, any thing which puts you in doubt, leave it. Again if something is harmful for body, is not encouraged in Islam. Finally Smoking is also not a appreciable act. Any one can correct me if I am wrong...

Mohammed 10 years ago

I had decided to quit smoking a month ago and set a date of 1st April, and the date has come and i was wondering whether i will be able to follow the self imposed ban. But with this article i have more reasons to stop then i had when i decided to quit smoking. Thanks Joanne for the infomation but if you had given a bit more scientifically proven info it would have been great, hope you'll provide them later. Any ways your article had given me stronger reason to quit smoking so wish me that i get all the courage and will power to achieve my goal. Thanks

Vincent 10 years ago

Why would cigarette manufacturers go to the added cost and likely legal issues created by the addition of exotic stuff to cigarette filters? It is common knowledge that cigarette companies are not duly concerned by the health risks they expose their customers to. Why then would they go to such lengths to attempt to filter harmful chemicals from the smoke? I imagine this is one of those Happy April Fool's jokes.

Smokie 10 years ago

'Tobacco firms are not required to disclose full content lists for cigarettes' ... WHY NOT? What next? Processed Chicken perhaps.

Amira Smith 10 years ago

I think the research comes from a book called 'Pig 05049' by Christein Meindertsma, which basically charts how the parts of a pig are used post-slaughter. Apparently haemoglobin in the filter acts as an 'artificial lung' so certain chemical reactions take place in the filter and not the lung of the smoker. (Obviously, as a strategy, it isn't effective enough to stop lung cancer.) Apparently pig parts are used in everything from shoes, to paint, to foundation (or so the book says). Interesting stuff.

zooey 10 years ago

I am so happy to read that ANYTHING has encouraged a Muslim to give up smoking. Mabruk, Mohammed, and may Allah swt help you to stick by your courageous and life-changing decision. As you know we are forbidden to commit suicide, and this one aspect of nicotine addiction- leading to death through our own choice. Let's make the most of the life Allah has given us, and celebrate with all the pure and halal food and drink that He has provided.

MK 10 years ago

This research was done by Dutch designer (not research team)Christien Meindertsma and put into a book called PIG 05049, look it up. Not recent either - 2008. She also says there are pig traces in yogurt and chewing gum.

michael 10 years ago

why not rip off the filter and smoke it ??? or better yet by cigarette rolling papers and buy tobacco and roll it yourself i since the blood is in the filters?