Business / Industries

'Less harmful cigarettes' is deceptive marketing

(Xinhua) Updated: 2013-01-16 12:57

BEIJING - Experts on Tuesday dismissed the concept that "low-tar cigarettes are less harmful" as a deceptive marketing gimmick.

At an anti-tobacco seminar held by the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and the anti-smoking advocacy group ThinkTank in Beijing, experts said research by Xie Jianping, a tobacco research academic, was a deception sugar-coated in science and, therefore, very harmful to public health.

They urged authorities to remove Xie from his seat at the elite Chinese Academy of Engineering.

Xie, who has worked for a tobacco research institute under the China National Tobacco Corporation (China Tobacco) for decades, has been the subject of controversy since he was honored with a seat in the CAE in December 2011.

Xie has won several national awards for his research in the tobacco industry, which has been been the subject of fierce debate among the public and in the media.

Xie's research focuses on low-tar and herbal cigarettes, which his institute claims are less harmful than conventional tobacco products.

Experts at the seminar countered his claims by pointing out that his research features a number of errors in terms of its direction, methodology and conclusions.

"His theories were substantially based on junior-level toxicology appraisals, which is not enough to prove that low-tar cigarettes are less harmful," said Zheng Yuxin, an expert with the Chinese Society of Toxicology.


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