Smoking Person

Hey smokers, I’ve got delightful news for you.  Some recent research shows that cigarettes may contain traces of blood- pigs’ blood to be exact.

Recent Dutch research has identified 185 different industrial uses of a pig, including the use of hemoglobin in cigarette filters, spurring concern from one Professor.  Simon Chapman is a Professor in Public Health at the University of Sydney.  Focusing solely on the production of cigarettes, Professor Chapman believes this research offers an insight into the “secretive world of cigarette manufacture, and…likely to raise concerns for devout Muslims and Jews.”  He believes that some religious groups could find the pig products in the cigarettes as “very offensive.”  These faiths specifically ban the consumption of pork.

The Jewish community certainly takes these matters extremely seriously and the Islamic community certainly do as well, as would many vegetarians.  It just puts into hard relief the problem that the tobacco industry is not required to declare the ingredients of cigarettes … they say ‘that’s our business’ and a trade secret.

So why use blood?  Well, research shows that the pig hemoglobin (a blood protein) is used to make cigarette filters more effective at “trapping harmful chemicals before they could enter a smoker’s lungs.”

Want to know if your cigarette is filtered with the blood of a sentient being?  Good luck.  Under the guise of “processing aids” (ingredients that are not significantly present in, and do not functionally affect, the finished product), the tobacco companies hide this information from public view.  Professor Chapman continues on by saying:

If you’re a smoker and you’re of Islamic or Jewish faith then you’d probably would want to know and there is no way of finding out.

The real problem here started when they examined 185 industrial uses for a sentient being. That aside, the only thing that should contain pig’s blood is a pig- period.  But Professor Chapman has a point, we as the public have a right to know the ingredients and processes used to create the products we consume.  And it’s not a problem limited to cigarette production, it’s everywhere with everything.  The next time you’re in a store, hold your breath and go down the cleaning aisle.  (Trust me, hold your breath, it’s noxious the fumes that come from that aisle.)  Take any product off the shelf and read the back.  You’ll be hard pressed to find an ingredient list on a cleaning product.  They are all protected under the same bullshit guise as “trade secret.”

And I’ll tell you what else, I find it “very offensive” that pigs’ blood is in some cigarette filters, I’m not Muslim or Jewish.  Pigs’ blood in cigarettes is the least of the worries to a Muslim or Jew who smokes.  At the core, it’s the least of anyone’s worries- at least it should be.


Want to learn more about the animal ingredients in the products YOU buy?  Visit YDV’s Commercial Street and learn the real costs to life for the products we consume.