Even if you aren’t an ardent animal lover, the notion of animals being used for testing the effects of tobacco just seems plain wrong. After all, we know that tobacco is harmful and that it causes conditions such as cancer and heart disease. The fact that tobacco companies and their laboratories are still carrying out these kinds of tests should be a concern to everyone.
Many people will think that the days of rats being put into smoke filled canisters for hours on end or monkeys and dogs being hooked up to tubes in their necks is a thing of the past. Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. Big tobacco companies are still animal testing and most of it makes for horrific reading as these examples show:
The question we all need to ask is this: We all know the effects of tobacco smoke on our health and we all know that we shouldn’t be smoking when pregnant. We also know that second hand smoke is just as dangerous as smoking. So why are we still carrying out these inhumane and, frankly, archaic experiments on animals? If we still think that taking a bunch of rabbits and covering them in cigarette tar to see what the effect on the body is, then something, somewhere is seriously wrong.
First of all, it’s cruel and, secondly, it’s not as effective as many in the tobacco industry would have us believe. According to the Physicians’ Committee for Responsible Medicine:
“Research on tobacco risks provided some of the strongest evidence that animal experiments can be dangerous and misleading, showing that there is no substitute for human data in searching for the causes of human disease.”
Animals don’t generally react in the same way to toxins and other chemicals in the way that we do – indeed big tobacco’s experiments on animals in the 1960s showed no link whatsoever between smoking and cancer. Science has come a long, long way in the last couple of decades and better and more accurate results can be obtained from cultivated human tissue. There’s no need to test on animals.
While many animal rights groups have tried to put pressure on the big tobacco companies and the FDA, and there have been some positive outcomes, there is still a long, long way to go. If you want to help end this senseless cruelty to animals, then there are a couple of things you can do right now.
First of all, write to your government officials and the FDA expressing your concern about animal testing by big tobacco. The more people that make a noise, the more they will have to do something about it. Animal testing is banned in many other countries and there is no reason for it to continue in the USA. The address you need to write to is:
Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee
Center for Tobacco Products
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
10903 New Hampshire Ave.
Silver Spring, MD 20993
Secondly, you can stop smoking. Putting your money in big tobacco industry’s pockets is one way to ensure that animal testing continues. You can, if you don’t want to quit, switch to cigarette makers who don’t carry out animal testing. But, at the end of the day, smoking is pretty bad for you and quitting is good for your short and long term health.