Guide to Cigarette Filters
Often used by smokers who want to lower nicotine levels in their blood, a cigarette filter is designed to reduce nicotine without changing the taste of the cigarette. It decreases the amount of tar, smoke, and fine particles the smoker inhales during cigarette combustion, decreases the harshness of the smoke, and keeps tobacco “flakes” out of the smoker's oral cavity. The filter features very small holes that are designed to “dilute” the smoke with air, so that the inhaled smoke has less nicotine and tar. In theory, cigarette filters make cigarettes “safer.”
A typical cigarette filter consists of fibers held together by glue, plus chemical additives meant to (a) improve the taste and (b) accelerate the rate at which nicotine is delivered to the smoker’s brain. Manufacturers of these filter claims that users have less exposure to smoking-related health risks. However, some studies indicate the average smoker tends to compensate by inhaling much more deeply and/or by covering some parts of the filter holes with their lips or fingers, thereby getting exposed to equal or even greater doses of tar and carcinogens.
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