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Activist Says Manufactures Tamper With Cigarettes 

By Olive Ejang Ngoh

The Director of Alcohol, Drug Abuse Prevention Team, ADAPT, Pascal Mbenchep Tagem, has said the nicotine content in cigarettes is manipulated to be habit-forming. Mbenchep was speaking on May 27 at a seminar under the theme "Nicotine Boom," to create awareness on the dangers of cigarette smoking. He said in both national and foreign produced cigarette, a packet of 20 sticks has been manipulated to have a nicotine content of 100 gram.

The director explained that cigarette consumers are addicted once they inhale a nicotine content of over 100 gram. Mbenchep added that cigarette industries are making sure that children are involved, in cigarette smoking. He said when cigarette manufacturers get smokers from childhood, they are sure of lasting consumers, because they would hardly stop consuming it. Mbenchep added that in the locally produced L&B Menthol, the nicotine content is written as 1.9 gram which he says is a lie.

He argued that any cigarette with less than 2 grams of nicotine is no cigarette. Besides, he said the messages on cigarette packets are manipulative. He said rather than "cigarette seriously damages your health," it is written "cigarette may seriously damage your health," to derail consumers. He said nicotine is slow poison that damages the human system slowly but effectively to death. Mbenchep lamented that besides nicotine, some 4000 chemical toxins are present in a stick of tobacco and 34 of the identified toxins cause cancer.

Another partner of ADAPT, Richard Shengang, talked on the dangers of involving children below 18 to buy and consume cigarettes. He said any child sent to buy cigarette is a victim of child abuse."No child has the right to buy and consume cigarettes," he warned. Shengang said they shall put up a project to urge the Cameroon government to promulgate into law the UNICEF article of the Convention on the Right of the Child.

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