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Health Canada says Arsenic in Cigarettes, Bad - Arsenic in

[Note: Just a little thing I wrote a few years ago in an attempt to expose the mendacity employed by busybody activists and opportunistic governments along with all of their rent seeking allies.

When I first posted this I realized that I was not 100% sure of my calculations since i was rather rusty on the chemistry so I invited readers to challenge my calculations. So far, no one has. 1 - (I know, I know.... i have no "readers," therefore, no one has read it.... therefore, of course, he he, no one has "refuted," me.) 2 - (I am quite certain that errors are present, however, even to the extent they are, the orders of magnitude involved, I believe, still render my argument sound.)]

January 25, 2011.


"Food contains arsenic. A rat poison."

Are Canadians Really as Stupid as their Government Thinks They Are

How long are they going to let their governments insult their intelligence?

According to the National Post, Health Canada is planning to change the warnings cigarette manufacturers put on their packaging.

One of the proposed new images shows a dead rat lying next to an ashtray with the tagline: "Cigarettes contain arsenic. A rat poison."

Well, Canadians.... so does food. According to The New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA) which administers legislation covering food for sale in New Zealand and other things, "Most foods contain trace levels of arsenic."

According to Environment Canada, in it's Priority Substances List Assessment Report on Arsenic and its Compounds:

"The lethal dose in humans is estimated to be approximately 50 to 300 mg (or 0.8 to 5 mg/kg-bw) of arsenic trioxide, although severe effects have been reported following ingestion of as little as 20 mg"

According to ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) New Zealand:

the arsenic content of US cigarettes as cited by the US Surgeon General in 1989 was still very high - 500-900 ng per g in processed tobacco, and 40-120 ng in mainstream smoke per cigarette; on these data, 10% to 17% of the arsenic appears in mainstream smoke.

If we assume each cigarette is 0.8 g tobacco then this is a ratio of 40 to 120 ng in smoke to 400-720 ng per cigarette, or a ratio of 10% to 17% going into mainstream smoke.

This means someone smoking a good tasting U.S. cigarette can get as much as 120 billionths of a gram of arsenic from one cigarette. The truly frightening part of all this is that if we use the lowest amount of arsenic reported to cause a severe acute effect from cigarette smoking (20 mg or 20 1/1000ths of a gram, a person would have to smoke, 166,667 good tasting American cigarettes (about 8,333 packs of twenty) with the highest levels of arsenic, very quickly to risk a severe reaction.

Isn't that scary? A pack a day smoker would therefore have to smoke the equivalent of 22.8 years of cigarettes all at once to experience the pleasure of a severe reaction.

At Health Canada's lowest lethal dose (50mg), our smoker would have to inhale 416,667 cigarettes in a very brief time to risk death... about 20,833 packs... or about 57 years worth of cigarettes for our pack a day smoker. Whew!

Furthermore, from the New Zealand Food Authority website,

Inorganic arsenic, formed from the combination of arsenic with oxygen, chlorine or sulphur, is more toxic and is known to add to the risk of people getting cancer if it is regularly consumed. However it is not usually found at high levels in food.


the Joint Food and Agriculture FAO / WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) has set a provisional tolerable weekly intake (PTWI) of 15 micrograms / kilogram of bodyweight / week for inorganic arsenic.

So according to the FAO / WHO if we have a person who weighs 150 pounds or about 68 Kilograms, the provisional tolerable weekly intake would be 68 X 15 = 1,020 micrograms, or 1.020 milligrams which is equivalent to about 8,500 cigarettes (425 packs of twenty) per week.... a serious 60.7 pack a day habit. Talk about a chain smoker, this guy would have to light one up every 71.4 seconds for twenty four hours every day to reach the provisional tolerable weekly intake. If the guy expects to get any sleep then he will have to smoke even faster.

According to Health Canada again, the annual average level of arsenic in municipal treated groundwater in Quebec, for example, between 1990–2002 was 2.0 µg/L. Taking our provisional tolerable weekly intake for a 68 Kg person of 1,020 micrograms, a person in Quebec would have to drink about 1,020 µg / 2.0 µg/L = 510 Litres of water a week, about 73 litres per day to reach the threshold (vs only 425 packs of twenty cigarettes per week).

Interestingly, Health Canada suggests an average daily intake of 3.7 litres of water for Canadian males over the age of 19. In Quebec, 3.7 litres of water would, on average, be equivalent to about 3.7 X 2.0 µg of arsenic for a total daily intake of about 7.4 µg of arsenic or, about 7.4 µg X 1000ng/1µg X 1 cigarette / 120 ng = about 62 good tasting high arsenic American cigarettes per day.

If Health Canada intends to warn Canadians about the arsenic content of cigarettes why do they not also require warning labels on our kitchen faucets???

[January 25, 2011. Note: There are outright lies. And then there are half-truths. Outright lies are easy to dispel. Half truths are much more devious.

In case anyone doesn't quite understand what I am trying to say here.... (pardon me for assuming.)

I don't doubt the truth of the statement that cigarette smoke contains arsenic. But that is only the half of the truth. When you dig a little deeper and contextualize the fact, the outright mendacity of it all ought to smack you across the face.

To think that masses of sheeple, capable of grasping only the first half of the "truth," then go out and vote for the people who provide them with this "truth," are the ones who, ostensibly "rule," in a democracy, is enough to bring the blood of any thinking person to a boil. (And/or resist a trip to the medicine cabinet for some Gravol)

But I should not say thing like that. It's rhetoric that might lead some pinko loving anarcho-commie to go around slitting throats and shooting people....


But I forgot.... it's not the anarcho-pinko, schizophrenic, leftist, commie, Glenn Beck hating, Cloward and Piven Mau lovers doing the killing...

It's us libertarians who believe in freedom, free trade and self self-ownership. (Yeah! We're the bad guys!)]


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