Are Cigarettes Vegan? Why You Might be Smoking Animal Products

Are cigarettes vegan
Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / HansMartinPaul

Cigarettes are a killer to both humans and animals. Many cigarette brands are not actually vegan, so keep reading to find out why you might be smoking animal products.

Are Cigarettes Vegan?

Cigarettes often contain animal products.
Cigarettes often contain animal products.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / geralt)

Some cigarettes are not vegan because they either contain animal products directly, or because the cigarette manufacturers test on animals. While awareness of the dangerous health effects of smoking has increased, many are unaware of the negative impacts that cigarettes have on animals. From the tobacco harvesting process to manufacturing, the cigarette industry contributes to widespread animal suffering. There are around 600 ingredients that make up a cigarette, and some of these ingredients are not vegan. 

The most common animal product found in cigarettes is shellac, which is used as an adhesive. Shellac is not vegan as it is made from the secretions of the lac beetle. The filters of cigarettes may also contain pig hemoglobin, a protein that comes from the red blood cells of pigs. It is used to trap harmful chemicals before they can enter a smoker’s lungs. If you are concerned for animal welfare, you should think about the cigarette products that you are consuming. 

The Environmental Effects of Smoking

Tobacco plantations can damage local ecosystems.
Tobacco plantations can damage local ecosystems.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / distelAPPArath)

Animal testing is often used in cigarette manufacturing. Many cigarette manufacturers test on animals such as monkeys, dogs, rats, and mice. The animals are usually forced to inhale cigarette smoke, and they often are killed as a result of the testing.

Cigarette production also has a negative effect on the environment. The extensive use of pesticides in tobacco fields can get into water supplies, and some tobacco-growing processes can damage soil and lead to soil degradation. Cigarettes also lead to deforestation as land is cleared for tobacco plantations, and can be a cause of water depletion. A report by Imperial College London found that a person smoking a pack of 20 cigarettes per day for 50 years is responsible for 1.4 million liters of water depletion. Significant waste and emissions are produced at every stage of cigarette manufacturing, and globally the tobacco industry generates around 84 million tonnes of C02 equivalent.

Another way that cigarettes negatively affect the environment is the enormous amount of cigarette butts that are left on the ground and in bodies of water. Worldwide, around 4.5 trillion cigarette butts are littered each year. Cigarette butts are non-biodegradable, which means they won’t break down organically. 

Cigarette Brands That Are Not Vegan

Here are some cigarette brands that are known to test on animals and/or contain animal products in the cigarettes: 

  • Samson
  • Lucky Strike
  • Westpoint
  • Winchester
  • Camel
  • Chesterfield
  • Optima
  • Boston
  • Pall Mall 

Cigarette Brands That Are Vegan

These cigarette brands do not test on animals and do not contain any animal products in their cigarettes:

  • West
  • Davidoff
  • Gauloises
  • Manila
  • Brookfield
  • Black Hawk
  • Dockers
  • JBR
  • Red Bull

    The Health Effects of Smoking

    Cigarettes contain over 7000 chemicals.
    Cigarettes contain over 7000 chemicals.
    (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Pexels)

    There is no denying now that smoking has detrimental health effects. Smoking cigarettes damages nearly every organ of the body and causes serious health problems including cancer, heart disease, strokes, respiratory diseases, cancer, as well as many other illnesses. A report by the American Heart Association concluded that smokers, especially those who start when they are young, are three times more likely to die prematurely compared to those who don’t. Although vegan cigarettes are a more humane option than those that have been tested on animals or contain animal products, it is much better for your health to quit smoking altogether. Quitting smoking reduces the risk of premature death and can add up to 10 years to your life expectancy. 

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