China's tobacco bureau investigates heavy metal accusation

14:20, October 12, 2010      

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A recent report from an international panel of experts claiming 13 Chinese cigarette brands have elevated levels of heavy metals has caused not only tempests in the industry, but also backlash from China.

China's State Tobacco Monopoly Bureau issued a report refuting the claims on Oct. 11 and pointed out that three of the 13 brands of cigarettes were taken off the market two years ago.

An official from the bureau said they had arranged relative materials preparation work under an investigation about the credibility of that report. He told reporters that the brands Ji Qing, Hong Jin Long and Yi Zhi Bi were already off the market.

Experts appeal to frame standards for heavy metal contained in cigarettes

Hao Fengtong, the director of Occupational and Poisoning Medicine of Chaoyang Hospital in Beijing, published a blog on Oct. 10 saying it is not right to say that the level of heavy metals in Chinese cigarettes exceeds the standard, and it is necessary to frame standards for heavy metal contents in cigarettes.

Hao said in the article that China is not the only country that lacks such standards. It was not objective to judge the harm that Chinese cigarettes bring to smokers only through a simple comparison with foreign cigarette brands.

Hao suggested framing a standard on heavy metals in cigarettes as soon as possible and controlling their contents to bring down the harm to smokers.

By Wang Hanlu, People's Daily Online


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