Smoke, Choke, Croak- Radioactive Cigarettes
Smoke, Choke, Croak: Radioactive Smoke
Puff by puff, polonium 210 (a radioactive poison) builds up to an equivalent radiation dosage of 300 chest X-rays for a person who smoking one and a half packs a day. A smoker stockpiles their supply of polonium with each drag; therefore, the high exposure associated with a lifetime of smoking.
Cigarettes are not simply dried tobacco leaves rolled in paper. There are more than 5,000 ingredients in cigarettes. The tobacco industry has become master mixologists with the additives. Public health authorities have classified between 45 and 70 of those chemicals, including carcinogens, irritants and other toxins, as potentially causing the harmful effects of tobacco use. Some ingredients are added for flavor, but research has shown that the key purpose of using additives is to improve tobacco’s potency resulting in increased addictiveness–and the additives they choose to use may kill you.
The World Health Organization indicates smoking is the most avoidable cause of death. 90% of the 1.3 million people who die from lung cancers are from cigarette smoking.
Where Does Polonium Come From?
Polonium 210 comes from uranium as it decays. Uranium occurs naturally in the soil. To add insult and injury to this danger, farmers add fertilizers, which are rich in phosphates. Phosphates have a much higher concentrate of Polonium 210.
There are two pathways leading from uranium to polonium in tobacco: through the air and through the roots.
Uranium decays to radon (a gas) to lead, then to later converts to polonium 210. This is absorbed by the roots of the tobacco plant.
Lead also produces Radon gas. This is absorbed on the tobacco leaves.
What is Polonium?
Polonium is an extremely unstable radioactive chemical element. It is highly toxic due to its radioactivity. Given the rarity of polonium, you are unlikely to encounter it; if you see enough to be able to be able to examine its physical properties; you will be dead from radiation exposure.
Why No Polonium in Cigarette Ashes?
Smokers inhale polonium. Polonium goes up in smoke! That means smokers inhale directly into their lungs. Experts note that the effects of radiation damage and other carcinogens exacerbate one another.
Industry-Wide Possible Disaster Causes Cigarette Industry to Suppress Polonium Dangers
Cigarette industry scientist never published, or publicized their research on polonium. During the 1990s, lawsuits brought against the industry forced the cigarette manufacturers to admit that smoking is dangerous and addictive. Thousands of these documents indicated that polonium had long been discussed in the cigarette industry.
No Commercial Advantage
In the 70s scientist at Phillip Morris had completed a draft of a paper with a title: “Naturally Occurring Radon-222 Daughters in Tobacco and Smoke condensate.” The Director of Product Development was concerned about publishing the manuscript. He did not want to, “…wake a sleeping giant.” The subject is rumbling, and I doubt we should provide the facts.” R.J. Reynolds in a memo stated, “Removal of these materials would have no commercial advantage.”
Polonium Can Be the First Poison to be Banned from Tobacco
The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, 2009; requires the tobacco industry to disclose the “poisons in its products.” The legislation brings tobacco for the first time under the jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration, allowing the agency to regulate components of cigarettes. Forcing the tobacco industry to finally remove polonium from cigarette smoke would make cigarettes less deadly.
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