Tobacco companies engineer high addiction cigarettes with additives

Wednesday 14 July 1999

ASH/ Press releases/


102 CliftonStreet, London EC2A 4HW Tel: (020) 7739 5902 Fax: (020) 7613 0531

Press release61 Lincoln’s Inn Fields
London WC2A 3PX
Tel: 0171-242-0200
Fax: 0171-269-3262
Registered Charity No 209631

Wednesday 14th July 1999
Embargo 10:00 BST

Action on Smoking and Health

102 Clifton Street
Tel: 020 7739 5902
Fax: 020 7613 0531
Registered Charity No 262067


Tobacco companies engineer highaddiction cigarettes with additives

Tobacco companies have addedchemicals to cigarettes to increase the addictiveness of nicotine and keep smokers hooked.A new joint report by ASH, Imperial Cancer Research Fund and the US State of Massachusettsreveals over sixty tobacco industry documents dealing with the use of additives incigarettes [1]. Over 600 tobacco additives are permitted in the UK. These include ammonia,pyridine and sugars which break down to acetaldehydes – each has a pharmacological impact.

Dr Martin Jarvis of Imperial CancerResearch Fund and a co-author of the report said: “Outside the tobacco industry,no-one knows which additives are used in which brands. The tobacco companies’ excuse forusing additives is that they make low tar cigarettes easier to smoke. We know that low tarcigarettes are just as bad for you as regular cigarettes, so using additives can not bejustified. As some additives can make cigarettes more addictive, tobacco companies aremaking it even harder for those smokers wanting to quit, to succeed.”

Clive Bates, co-author of the reportand Director of ASH, said: “We have uncovered a scandal in which tobacco companiesdeliberately use additives to make their bad products even worse. Without telling anyone,they have been free-basing nicotine and engineering subtle changes to the brain chemistryof the smoker. The idea of taking an addictive product and making it more addictive isextremely disturbing. It is basically a further invasion of the freedom not to smoke, ifyou don’t want to.”

The US State of Massachusetts hasforced tobacco companies to disclose which additives are used in which brands and why. Theindustry has responded by suing. Dr Gregory Connolly, Director of the MassachusettsTobacco Control Program, is also a co-author and is in London for the launch. He said:”The tobacco industry’s documents raise serious questions about the way they haveengineered cigarettes to be more addictive. We are starting to hold them to account inMassachusetts, and they really don’t like it. No-one should be doing anything to tobaccoproducts that adds to the already unacceptable health burden – and we are determined tostop them even if it means fighting them in court.”

Dr Connolly will be guest speaker ata meeting of experts and Government officials on Wednesday afternoon.



Notes for Editors:

[1] Tobacco Additives: cigarette engineeringand nicotine addiction.

ASH, Imperial Cancer Research Fund. 14th July1999

Available at HYPERLINK <ahref=”http:”” papers=”” additives.html”=””>

The Imperial Cancer Research Fund is dedicatedto the prevention, treatment and cure of all forms of cancer. Its 1,000 scientists anddoctors are at the forefront of the worldwide effort to find new answers to cancer. Thecharity relies overwhelmingly on voluntary funding to carry out its vital work.

ASH-Action on Smoking and Health is anorganisation that provides information about all aspects of tobacco and works to advancepolicies and measures that will help to prevent the addiction, disease and unnecessarypremature death caused by smoking.


Contact Clive Bates, Director (020) 7739 5902
Tonya Gillis, Imperial Cancer Research Fund (020) 7269 3614

RegisteredCharity No 262067
Action on Smoking and Health is a company limited by guarantee.  Registered inEngland No 998971.  Registered address as above