Health officials have known for decades that cigarette smoking causes disease in nearly every organ of your body, tobacco companies and the contract laboratories they hire continue to conduct cruel experiments to test existing and new products. In these tests, animals are forced to breathe cigarette smoke for up to six hours straight, everyday, for as long as three years. As animals naturally avoid breathing cigarette smoke, rodents are placed in devices that force smoke into their noses. Dogs and monkeys have tubes attached to holes in their necks, or have masks strapped to their faces to force smoke into their lungs. In other commonly conducted studies, mice and rats have cigarette tar applied directly to their bare skin to induce the growth of skin tumors.
Internal tobacco industry documents reveal that new additives and products that tobacco companies are currently developing, which they will likely test on animals, are generally intended to mask the actual taste and smell of tobacco to make it more palatable and appealing to the user, as well as to those inhaling secondhand smoke and potential customers like teenagers.
Tobacco products and their ingredients are not required by law to be tested on animals, and given the in vitro (non-animal) technology and safe human-based research methods available and the existing body of knowledge from human epidemiological and clinical studies about the health concerns associated with smoking, manufacturers can safely rely on these non-animal methods. Tobacco industry scientists have concluded that…in vitro toxicology tests can be successfully used both for better understanding the biological activity of cigarette smoke and CSC and for guiding the development of cigarettes with reduced toxicity.
These tests are not only cruel, but they are irrelevant to human health as animals’ bodies don’t react to cigarettes and their ingredients as humans’ do. The link between tobacco and lung cancer in humans was obscured for years because data collected from experiments on animals did not show this relationship. A recent article by a tobacco industry consultant reported that results from years of cigarette inhalation studies in rats, mice, hamsters, dogs and nonhuman primates do not show significant increases in cancerous tumor development and are “clearly at variance with the epidemiological evidence in smokers, and it is difficult to reconcile this major difference between observational studies in humans and controlled laboratory studies in five different species.