An online study published in the Lancet has revealed how British American Tobacco (BAT), a leading cigarette manufacturer has been adopting a strategy to mask the toxicity of the manufactured cigarettes.
In an audit conducted to review the internal documents of the company by Canadian researchers, it has been found that the cigarettes actually delivered elevated levels of tar and nicotine under real life situations, while in documentation, it was claimed to produce a low yield.
Furthermore, that BAT was aware that real life smokers actually draw twice as much of the puff volume of the International Standards Smoking (ISO) machine, commonly used in testing protocols. In spite of the above observation, the company had been found to hide the difference in marketing campaigns and labels printed on cigarette packs.
Alarmingly, these cigarettes with high tar and nicotine yield were projected as low tar alternatives to smokers concerned about their health. The company even ignored most of the ethical concerns that were raised by senior scientists, a part of the parent organization.
'Overall, these documents depict a deliberate strategy whereby BAT and ITL (Imperial Tobacco Limited) designed products that would fool their consumers and regulators into thinking these products were safer or less hazardous when they were not. Moreover, this product strategy remains in place today, as does the tool of its deception, the ISO cigarette testing protocols. The current review leaves little doubt that the ISO standards should be discarded in favor of new standards that meet the needs of consumers and regulators, rather than those of the tobacco industry, ' concluded the authors of the present study.