Cigarettes and Cigarette Filters

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booky

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Till the 1950s cigarette smoking was not considered dangerous. Only then did science find the relation between Cigarette addiction and Lung cancer. Filter-tip cigarettes then entered the market as they were known to screen out tar and nicotine and make smoking safer.

A cigarette filter reduces the amount of tar, smoke and fine particles inhaled while smoking. It also reduces the harshness of the smoke and prevents tobacco flakes from entering the smoker’s mouth.

Cigarette filters are mainly manufactured from cellulose which is obtained from wood. The cellulose is initially acetylated then dissolved and spun as continuous synthetic fibers. They are then arranged into a bundle called tow. The tow is opened, plasticized, shaped and cut to the required lengths to act as filters. Kent brand cigarettes used asbestos as part of the filter. Asbestos filters are insoluble, heat proof and form extremely fine fibers. But they are known to cause lung cancer when inhaled. Lark cigarettes used a variation of filter which had a chamber filled with activated charcoal granules.

The filters are generally used in Light cigarettes where it is perforated with tiny holes. This dilutes the smoke with air. Thus theoretically, the inhaled smoke contains lesser tar and nicotine thus making it safer than regular cigarettes. But practically, the smoker inhales the required amount of nicotine to maintain the balance in his body. Thus the smoker ends up taking deeper puffs while using Light cigarettes. This causes greater or equal amount of carcinogens and tar to enter the smoker’s body. The best way to avoid these problems is by quitting smoking altogether.
 
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