Beijing: Thirteen cigarette brands
manufactured in China contain an excessive amount of heavy
metals, up to three times the amount in Canadian-produced
brands, a research report said.
The report by a Canadian Research Group compared
Chinese-produced cigarettes with those made in other countries
and found excessive levels of lead, arsenic and cadmium,
without specifying the brands, China`s official People`s Daily
Researchers use Canadian-produced cigarettes as a
benchmark because Canadian law insists cigarette manufacturers
and importers test the amount of heavy metals and the results
are publicly available.
This research is part of a global project to assess
the impact of the World Health Organisation Framework
Convention on Tobacco Control, a treaty China signed in 2006,
on smoking-ban policies in member countries.
Geoffrey Fong, a lead researcher from the University
of Waterloo, said many consumers don`t know what ingredients
are contained in cigarettes.
It is a fundamental mistake if they want to safeguard
their own rights. As a treaty member of WHO FCTC, China must
take stringent measures to protect its people from the hazard
of cigarettes, Fong said.
The report was released at the 9th Asia Pacific
Conference on Tobacco or Health in Sydney.
Researchers tested 76 China-produced cigarette
brands, compared them with those made in other countries and
found excessive levels of lead, arsenic and cadmium in some
brands, without specifying the names, a report in Shanghai
Jin Zhongli, deputy director of the State Tobacco
Monopoly Bureau`s science and technology department, said
China has no regulations on the limit of heavy metal levels
contained in one cigarette.
Restrictions are only imposed on raw materials, such
as cigarette papers.