Cigarettes Contain
Over 600 Secret
Ingredients & Additives
By Tom Baldwin Deputy Political Editor - The Times
Tobacco firms have admitted putting 600 secret ingredients and additives in cigarettes, the Health Secretary disclosed yesterday.
Alan Milburn promised that the list would be published in full within weeks so that consumers, for the first time, would "know what they are smoking."
His comments at a meeting of the Commons Health Committee came ahead of a European directive on tobacco, that will put new ceilings on nicotine and carbon monoxide levels, increase the size of warnings and restrict the use of "mild" or "low tar" to describe cigarette brands.
Although tobacco companies had promised the previous Government that they would provide the Department of Health with a full list of additives, Mr Milburn said that he had only just received the dossier.
The ingredients include sucrose, cocoa, citric acid and ammonium - which speeds up the nicotine "hit".
Stephen Hesford, a Labour member of the committee, suggested later that the additives also included cynanide and lead.
Mr Milburn said that "until very recently nobody knew about any of these ingredients", adding that he was demanding further information from the tobacco companies so that they could show which brands contained the additives.
"It is our intention to put that information on the Health Department's website before too long. People have a right to decide whether or not to smoke, but they also have a right to know what they are smoking," he said.
The EU directive, to be published next week, will take effect in 2003.


This Site Served by TheHostPros