Animal Welfare, Petitions — By Diana Denza June 1 2012
Imagine being locked in a cramped cell for several months as cigarette smoke is pumped directly through your nostrils for hours at a time. Sadly, PETA claims that this is the fate of the tobacco industry’s lab rats before they’re killed and dissected in the name of a bad human habit. And now, the industry has plans to test its new “light” or “mild” formula, which they’re pushing to claim is less harmful for the 47 million adults in the United States who light up. According to the Food and Drug Administration draft guidelines, animal lives must be put in danger through cruel animal testing in order for the tobacco industry to bring its “light” cigarettes to the market. Defenseless animals must not be sacrificed for still-harmful tobacco products.
According to PETA, testing tobacco products on animals does not make them safe for human consumption because humans and animals often do not develop the same types of diseases from tobacco smoke. In addition, these results are often used by the industry to deny links between smoking and deadly diseases, like cancer.
In a Washington Times report published on Monday, May 28, tobacco products are responsible for the deaths of 1,200 people per day in this country alone. And if you’re thinking “light” automatically means “better”, you’re in for a big surprise.
The National Cancer Institute claimed in a recent report that “There is no convincing evidence that changes in cigarette design … have resulted in an important decrease in the disease burden caused by cigarette use.”
Animal testing can often be dangerous and cruel. In this case, it can also be ineffective. Though several other countries including the United Kingdom and Canada do not test on animals, the FDA and tobacco industry are allowing animals to senselessly suffer and die for products humans know are bad for us.