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Clearing the air: 5 Myths related to smoking

In a world congested with mis-information, it is essential to untangle the web of myths surrounding smoking. As we take the leap forward to break the myths, we will debunk five prevalent beliefs related to smoking in this blog. From the supposed safety of "light" cigarettes to the supposedly toxin free cigarettes , Leher is on a journey to build a toxins-free environment and delve into the harsh realities surrounding cigarette usage. 


1). ‘Light’ and ‘Mild’ cigarettes deliver far less Tar and Nicotine to the smoker 


Numerous countries have banned the use of descriptors such as "light" and "mild" for cigarettes due to the presence of compelling evidence indicating that these products don't actually reduce tar and nicotine intake. This revelation exposes a widespread psychologically impactful consumer scheme. Cigarette manufacturers manipulate safety readings through laboratory smoking machine protocols, concealing crucial information from smokers. Specifically, so-called "light" or "mild" cigarettes feature nearly invisible perforations on the filter, allowing extra air during machine testing and resulting in lower tar and nicotine readings. However, smokers unknowingly obstruct these ventilation holes with lips and fingers, altering their smoking behavior to meet nicotine cravings. Even in regions where these descriptors are prohibited, companies resort to pack colors to subtly suggest which varieties are perceived as "safer," perpetuating a deceptive narrative. 


2). Filters make smoking safer 


Despite being introduced in the 1950s as a response to apprehensions about lung cancer, cigarette filters have shown no proven health benefits. Independent research has indicated that these filters neither make smoking less harmful nor protect those exposed to secondhand smoke. Paradoxically, filters may heighten the risks for smokers, allowing the inhalation of smoke and potentially harmful plastic fibers more deeply into the lungs. The misleading implication that filters make cigarettes safer has influenced generations, hindering potential quit attempts. Moreover, filters might inadvertently encourage smoking, offering a less harsh experience for new and young smokers. The enduring myth of filter efficacy underscores the need for comprehensive awareness about the true health implications of smoking.


3). Cigarette butts are biodegradable and can be recycled 


Cigarette filters, having a fundamentally non-biodegradable nature, transform into harmful microplastics rather than undergoing natural decomposition. Taking one to ten years to break down, these filters release microplastics, infiltrating water, air, and even human blood and organs, posing threats to both wildlife and human health. Simultaneously, the absence of a practical, safe cigarette butt recycling system exacerbates environmental concerns. While some companies support small-scale anti-littering and recycling initiatives, the vast number of discarded butts, totaling trillions annually, overwhelms these efforts. There is a dire need to implement sustainable solutions to tackle the menace of non-recyclable cigarette waste. Leher is an initiative that not only solves this problem with its unique solution but also helps in reducing the degradable environmental impact of cigarette butt waste. 


4). Smoking is a pleasurable pastime 


Multiple studies reveal that approximately 90% of smokers express regret for initiating smoking, and about 40% attempt to quit annually—a level of customer dissatisfaction unparalleled in any other product category. Numerous research findings counter the notion of continued smoking as a pleasurable pursuit, highlighting that the perceived "pleasure" of smoking primarily revolves around the relief experienced when a smoker refrains for a period. The period of abstinence is the primary cause of receiving comfort rather than the intake of smoke itself. The subsequent intake of nicotine alleviates the discomfort and cravings accumulated during this abstinence. 


5). Nicotine is the major toxic ingredient in cigarettes 


While nicotine serves as the addictive component in cigarettes, the primary source of harm stems from other substances. The dosages of nicotine found in cigarettes are not primarily responsible for heart attacks, cancer, or lung damage. The detrimental effects are attributed to the presence of over 7,000 toxins and chemicals in tobacco, with tar and carbon monoxide being particularly harmful. There are 70 recognized carcinogens in tobacco smoke, underscoring the role of various harmful agents beyond nicotine in contributing to the adverse health impacts like cancer. Project Leher is on a mission to reduce the impact of these thousands of harmful chemicals on our environment and strive towards a cigarette-butt waste free environment. 


Together, let us raise awareness that helps us to get a step closer to a cigarette butt free society.



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