Cigarettes

Anyone want to try the 'hi-tech' filters sold on mainland trains to help smokers quit?

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 06 December, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 06 December, 2008, 12:00am

The mainland's rail authority is working to help smokers quit - or is it to encourage them to smoke more without guilt?

Staff on board state-run trains have taken to selling plastic reusable cigarette filters (pictured), advertised as 'hi-tech'. 'Smoke cigarettes. Leave out the poisons,' so the pack advertises.

A pair of filters is sold for 38 yuan (HK$43) but is negotiable to 20 yuan. A chain-smoking South China Morning Post colleague, who was in Shenzhen to research a story about dangerous products and hazardous chemicals sold on the mainland, bought a pack out of curiosity.

The device works like a cigarette holder.

But he didn't dare use it, perhaps knowing too much about mainland manufacturers from his research. So he passed it on for LoDown to try as a guinea pig.

With mainland smokers consuming one in three of the world's cigarettes, we can appreciate the authorities are trying to do something.

But we are not sure this is the way to go about it.

The product, which is produced by a company called Heng Kang, claims to reduce the intake of tar, nicotine and other carcinogenic substances by 80 per cent with its 'hi-tech filtering system'.

But study after study has shown filters - and 'light' cigarettes - do not reduce a smoker's consumption of the nasty lung-busting particles.

We are still looking for volunteers to try the 'hi-tech' filters in the office - no takers yet.