Cigarette engineering and additives

An article by Scollo et al  – September 2017 – explains the recent machinations of the tobacco industry in Australia and the dirty tricks they have undertaken in response to the introduction of plain packaging . See also the Tasmanian Times on “squeeze balls“.

The latest ruse by tobacco companies is to try to get children hooked on cigarettes by inventing new menthol and other flavour “squeeze balls” in filters  to give a rush of exciting taste. 52% of child smokers age 12-17 have tried these types of cigarettes with flavoured filters according to the most recent ASSAD survey completed by the Cancer Council Victoria.

Winfield Optimum Crush Blue with clearly visible flavored “squeeze ball” in the filter. Manufactured by British American Tobacco in Singapore and sold in Tasmania October 2017.
PJ HybridGold-Fresh manufactured by Philip Morris in Korea, and sold in Tasmania October 2017

The Commonwealth government has  released, as a result of an FOI request, documents relating to the palatability of cigarettes and the potential to regulate tobacco products.

Palatability Purcell

RIS tobacco product content regulation

How a cigarette is engineered.


Two papers were released in January 2017 under FOI from the Commonwealth Government about the “Palatability” and “Tobacco product content regulation and disclosure requirements for tobacco products”. These documents have been under wraps since 2014. Check them out on our cigarette engineering additives page !

“Light” cigarettes are engineered using vented filters.

What is filter ventilation? what does it look like?

Vented filters have holes in the top of which let smoke out. This makes the cigarette taste less harsh, as there is less smoke. the problem is smokers suck harder to get their nicotine ” fix” . The smoke then goes deeper into the lungs. This means the cancer develops deep in the lungs and is harder to treat. Patients are more likely to die.


Articles about “light” cigarettes can be found here  and here  and the following:

The ACCC said that the “light” cigarette scam was “misleading and deceptive”. Imperial Tobacco refused to cooperate at first.

“The ACCC has been seeking an industry wide solution to this important consumer health issue. However Imperial Tobacco Australia Limited, the third largest tobacco company in Australia with a market share of 20 per cent, has refused to cooperate with the ACCC”, Mr Samuel said.
“Imperial Tobacco has not addressed the ACCC’s concerns about removing these descriptors within a time frame consistent with that agreed to by the other two companies.
“Imperial Tobacco has also refused to make an appropriate contribution to consumer education programs proportionate to its Australian market share. This is remarkable given the company’s $AU 47.6 million profit last financial year, as part of a worldwide Imperial Tobacco group profit of $AU 2.1 billion.

“Imperial Tobacco’s attitude demonstrates significant lack of sensitivity and responsiveness to community concerns and expectations on this issue”, Mr Samuel said.

Imperial finally agreed to remove their light and mild descriptors.