London: Around ten billion cigarette filters are thrown away worldwide every day. The filters in particular are growing plastic garbage problem. Experts demand that they should be banned as a measure in the fight against plastic waste. Researchers say filters have no health benefits anyway.
They can be found on sidewalks, on beaches, in track beds and around bus shelters. Cigarette butts are the most discarded waste product in the world. This is not only problematic because of the toxins contained in the cigarette butts. The filters are also largely made of cellulose acetate, a plastic that is difficult to degrade. Scientists from London and San Diego therefore demand in a Medical Journal to completely ban the sale of filter cigarettes. They argue that the filters are a deceptive package anyway, used to save tobacco and make people think they are making smoking less harmful.
The cigarette filter in the 1950s was an invention of the tobacco industry in a reply to the studies that showed that smoking caused lung cancer. Filtered cigarettes, according to the advertising promise at the time, would absorb part of the tar and allow “healthier” smoking.
Now we know that this safety argument was a fairy tale, one of many invented by the tobacco industry to sell cigarettes,” write Thomas Novotny of San Diego State University and his colleagues at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine in their editorial.