Cigarette filters: useless for your health, harmful to the environment

A few weeks ago, I learned a lot from the Quartz Obsession newsletter, one focused on cigarette filters. A few highlights:

New research suggests that cigarette filters, usually made out of synthetic fibres, are the single largest component of ocean trash.

Print this on cigarette packs.

“Filters are the deadliest fraud in the history of human civilization,” Stanford professor and tobacco industry critic Robert Proctor told the New York Times. “They are put on cigarettes to save on the cost of tobacco and to fool people. They don’t filter at all.”

And the kicker:

It’s not entirely fair to say that cigarette filters do nothing—they are actually an ingenious piece of engineering that makes smoking feel healthier by diluting the smoke with air, a technique known as ventilation. That lessens the harshness of the smoke—sort of like watering down grain alcohol with water. You can see the problem: Smokers still ingest the same amount of tar, carbon monoxide, and other toxic chemicals.

The huge number of people smoking in Paris is still astounding to me.

The communication campaign against filters writes itself: photos of clean rivers, clean beaches, clean streets, with the hashtag #nofilter printed on it in big letters.