Hand rolling tobacco is as bad for you as ordinary cigarettes. Smoking it can still result in the same health risks including cancer, stroke, heart and lung disease, impotence, infertility, and even amputation.
There are many reasons why people think that smoking roll-ups is better for you, but many of these are myths.
“The roll-ups I smoke are more natural and pure, and contain a lot less of the ‘bad’ stuff you find in ordinary cigarettes.”
Roll-ups expose smokers to 4,000 toxic chemicals – many of which are carcinogenic and poisonous. Here are only a few of the poisons that make all tobacco toxic when smoked:
- Cadmium – highly poisonous metal used in batteries
- Formaldehyde – highly poisonous and used to preserve dead bodies
- Ammonia – found in strong cleaning fluids
- Benzene – used as a solvent in fuel
- Cyanide – industrial pollutant
- Arsenic – deadly poison found in insecticides
“But I only smoke roll-ups because they’re more ‘organic’ than ordinary cigarettes and come from a different source.”
Nope. The tobacco used for roll-ups is grown in the same place and made in the same factories as manufactured brands.
“Surely smoking roll-ups is far less addictive for me than manufactured cigarettes?”
Manufactured cigarettes undergo tests to show their ‘smoke yields’. These figures indicate the amount of tar, nicotine and carbon monoxide levels for each brand.
Nicotine and tar yields are actually higher in roll-ups than in most ordinary cigarettes – and many people who smoke roll-ups do not use a filter, so they end up inhaling more tar and nicotine.
“But I smoke roll-ups because they’re healthier than manufactured cigarettes.”
Absolutely not. Roll-ups are just as bad for you as ordinary cigarettes, and can result in the same health risks including cancer, stroke, heart and lung disease, impotence, infertility, and even amputation. In fact, studies have suggested that people who smoke roll-ups also have an increased risk of cancer of the mouth, oesophageous, pharynx and larynx compared to smokers of manufactured cigarettes.
“Yeah, but smoking roll-ups will make it easier to give up.”
Actually, roll-ups contain higher levels of addictive nicotine than manufactured cigarettes – and without a filter, smokers inhale more nicotine and therefore become highly addicted and dependent on their habit.
“Okay, well rolling my own allows me to control the amount of tobacco I smoke.”
The truth is, if you smoke, you smoke. There is no such thing as a safe cigarette, and by smoking roll-ups you’re still exposing yourself to 4,000 toxic chemicals – no matter how much you smoke.
(Adapted from Smoke Free South West - Wise up to roll ups campaign www.wiseupandquit.co.uk)