Friday, 10 December 2010

Pfizer: Never Let The Truth Get In The Way

I recently found the following on Pfizer's website (at this link) and thought it deserved clearing up.

They claim that

Cigarettes don’t just contain nicotine. Each cigarette contains over 4000 toxic chemicals many of which are added to make it more appealing to the consumer. Carbon monoxide is one of the better known ones, but there are others worth mentioning too.

Acetic Acid (vinegar)
Acetone (nail varnish remover)
Ammonia (cleaning agent)
Arsenic (ant poison in the USA)
Benzene (petrol fumes)
Cadmium (car battery fluid)
DDT (insecticide)
Ethanol (anti-freeze)
Formaldehyde (embalming fluid)
Hydrogen Cyanide (industrial pollutant)
Lead (batteries, petrol fumes)
Methanol (rocket fuel)
Tar (road surface tar)

The author of this seems to not understand the difference between an ingredient being in something and said ingredient being the actual substance. Ammonia, for instance, is used in cleaning agents, but is present in soil (and thus products that grow in the soil), and various beauty products like hair dye.

Benzene is in tap water, ethanol is pure alcohol used in anti-freeze, but Pfizer are alluring that ethanol is anti-freeze therefore anti-freeze is in cigarettes. Formaldehyde is a naturally occuring substance from combustion; it is not in tobacco, but is in the smoke as a byproduct of the tobacco being lit. To suggest that rocket fuel is an active ingredient is ridiculous, because putting it near an open flame would very quickly disintegrate any would-be smoker.
And the tar in cigarettes is not road tar, it is just a term for the black residue you find in your ashtray.

Pfizer apparently are so immune from reprisal they don't even care to fact-check or be accurate anymore.

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