The Filter as Fraud

  • No filter, with or without asbestos, confers any health benefit or makes smoking safer. In fact, the filter requires that the smoker suck harder, thus increasing exposure to poison gases like carbon monoxide, cyanide, and ammonia, and elevating the risk of emphysema and heart disease. Yet, today, nearly all cigarettes are filtered brands.
  • From 1952 to 1957 the Lorillard Company manufactured the original Micronite filter for its Kent brand cigarettes. The filter was comprised of 15% to 25% Crocidolite asbestos, which is today regulated by the U.S. government as asbestos. Inhalation of Crocidolite is known to cause lung disease, lung cancer, and mesothelioma. Thus, while the Kent Micronite filter was originally created to provide health benefits, it actually had serious negative, even deadly, consequences. In 1957, Lorillard redesigned the filter and abandoned the asbestos filter for a filter made of cellulose acetate fibers.

Ed Stein
Rocky Mountain News (Denver, Colorado)

“I grew up in the blacklands of Central Texas, where if you weren’t a wimp or a dweeb you knew how to Bogart that cigarette. I knew all the tricks. I could light a match with my teeth, my thumbnail, or my zipper. I could French inhale, I could hold a whole cigarette lit-end first inside my mouth, I could fling a butt 30 yards with one disdainful flick of the finger. I was cool. I was a dope. A decade or so later, I got so mad at myself for what smoking was doing to me I quit cold. Carried a pack around in my pocket for days, but every time I reached for it, the wave of revulsion that washed over me stopped me from lighting up. After three weeks I threw the pack away, and that was that. My only revenge is to hammer away at the evil varmints who put all that Marlboro Country nonsense in my dumb teenage brain in the first place.”

~ Ed Stein

News article
Tobacco: The International Weekly, page 14
January 24, 1964

Steven Lait
Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California)

Ed Stein
Rocky Mountain News

Wayne Stayskal
Chicago Tribune

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