One of the ways in which the tobacco industry is so unethical, is that cigarettes are still tested on animals.
Even after all this time, despite everyone knowing for years about all of the health problems that cigarettes cause in humans, the tobacco industry continues to engage in this gross behavior. The dangers of smoking have been known for decades now, and tests on animals are very inconclusive (bad science) in any case. One way in which the tests are invalid, is that humans smoke voluntarily and so inhale deeper than animals who are forcibly exposed to the smoke. Clearly, the results will be skewed. Another factor here is that the upper respiratory tracts of animals (such as dogs and rats), are physiologically quite different from those of humans. The nature of the human respiratory tract is one of the factors which keeps animals from contracting lung cancer in the way that humans do.
The earliest animal smoking experiments in the 1950s and 1960s, were performed on beagle dogs who were strapped down and fitted with face masks. The masks forced them to inhale cigarette smoke for several hours at a time. In other tests, these dogs were also made to smoke by having their throats slit and smoke pumped into the tracheotomy. They have additionally had their legs severed whilst they were still alive to test the effects of smoke on circulation and also have had their chest cavities opened up so that their coronary arteries could be artificially manipulated. There have even been tests where researchers have inserted electrodes into dog's penises to measure the effect of smoking on sexual performance! (There is plenty of evidence in humans already, on how cigarette use causes erectile dysfunction!)
One small blessing is that at least smoking tests have been banned on animals in the UK since 1997. Sadly, they still go on in many other countries, such as in Europe and in the USA. For example, in the USA the tobacco giant Philip Morris has been spending millions each year in funding these cruel and pointless tests on animals such as beagles, monkeys, rats, and mice. Lab rats are forced into tiny cone-shaped canisters which are pumped full of smoke, so that they have no choice but to inhale it. The rats are then killed and dissected to examine the damage caused to their bodies. In other tests, mice and rats have tobacco tar applied directly to bare skin to induce cancerous tumours (despite how that seems relevant to humans, who take smoke in through their lungs).
Recently Philip Morris has deemed it necessary to add new ingredients to their existing cigarettes, such as sugar, honey, plum juice, cocoa, and coffee extracts, and to test these modifications on animals. Commenting on a recent research project in which around 1000 rats were forced to inhale cigarette smoke for about six hours per day over a 90-day period, a Philip Morris spokesman said the company’s "rare” use of animal tests was to help them develop lower-risk tobacco products, or to make sure that modifications to brands did not add to the toxicity of their existing cigarettes.
"This research was not to confirm the quality of the cigarette or to see if it was safe. There is no such thing as a safe cigarette," the spokesman added. So there you have it, straight from the horse’s mouth!
Maybe this will help smokers who are trying to quit, knowing that these atrocities are being inflicted so unnecessarily on other creatures. When you feel your resolve wavering, think on this– you are not just killing and harming yourself and other humans, you are also paying the tobacco companies to kill and mutilate all of these other innocent creatures.
It's just another very powerful reason to quit, I think you will agree.
Picture courtesy of www.globalphilosophy.blogspot.com