- Tobacco firms have admitted putting 600 secret ingredients
and additives in cigarettes, the Health Secretary disclosed yesterday.
- Alan Milburn promised that the list would be published
in full within weeks so that consumers, for the first time, would "know
what they are smoking."
- His comments at a meeting of the Commons Health Committee
came ahead of a European directive on tobacco, that will put new ceilings
on nicotine and carbon monoxide levels, increase the size of warnings and
restrict the use of "mild" or "low tar" to describe
- Although tobacco companies had promised the previous
Government that they would provide the Department of Health with a full
list of additives, Mr Milburn said that he had only just received the dossier.
- The ingredients include sucrose, cocoa, citric acid and
ammonium - which speeds up the nicotine "hit".
- Stephen Hesford, a Labour member of the committee, suggested
later that the additives also included cynanide and lead.
- Mr Milburn said that "until very recently nobody
knew about any of these ingredients", adding that he was demanding
further information from the tobacco companies so that they could show
which brands contained the additives.
- "It is our intention to put that information on
the Health Department's website before too long. People have a right to
decide whether or not to smoke, but they also have a right to know what
they are smoking," he said.
- The EU directive, to be published next week, will take
effect in 2003.
- SIGHTINGS HOMEPAGE
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