Metals more ‘harmful’ than nicotine found in Benson, Gold Leaf...

Dhaka, Sunday   07 March 2021

Metals more ‘harmful’ than nicotine found in Benson, Gold Leaf

 Staff Correspondent

 Published: 11:45 AM, 25 February 2020   Updated: 11:59 AM, 25 February 2020

File Photo

File Photo

Nicotine is the only metal that comes up first to say harmful ingredients in cigarettes. Smoking is compared to 'drinking poison' due to the presence of nicotine. Now, the Bangladesh Food Safety Authority has found the presence of heavy metals, which is more harmful than nicotine, in the cigarettes produced in Bangladesh.  

After collecting and examining the sample of five locally produced popular brands - including Gold Leaf and Benson & Hedges, the government organization has obtained this information. The Food Safety Authority has sent a letter to the health ministry asked to determine how harmful these excessive amounts of heavy metal is for smokers and passive smokers, and to make people aware of it. 

The officials of the Bangladesh Food Safety Authority said that collecting from the local market, the sample of  Derby, produced by British American Tobacco Bangladesh (BATB), Hollywood, Star, Gold Leaf, Benson, and Navy of Japan Tobacco Brand cigarettes have been sent to the Analytical Chemistry Laboratory of the Atomic Energy Centre in Dhaka on January 8. 

Dr Shamshad Begum Qureshi, Chief Scientific Officer and Quality Manager of the laboratory, produced the lab test report on January 15. Because of the presence of these heavy metals in the tobacco leaf produced in the country, these harmful ingredients have also been found in the cigarettes. 

After receiving the lab test report, acting chairman Mahabub Kabir wrote a letter to the Health Secretary, Director General of the Department of Health and the Secretary of Food. He said that 0.49-100.95 grams of lead, 0.41-1.37 grams of cadmium and 0.82-1.49 grams of chromium per kg have been found after testing the tobacco used in locally produced cigarettes. The Ministry of Health must be determined how harmful it is for smokers and to make people aware of it. 

The Bangladesh Food Safety Authority also requested the ministry to investigate how heavy metals have contaminated tobacco.