CIGARETTES AND PIG BLOOD
Here is what we read from Sydney Australia:
A warning was sent out to religious groups here after traces of pig's blood found in cigarette filters!
By Daily Mail Reporter
An Australian professor has warned religious groups that cigarette filters may contain traces of pig's blood. Simon Chapman said recent Dutch research has identified 185 different industrial uses for a pig - including the use of haemoglobin in cigarette filters. The University of Sydney professor said the study offered an insight into the world of cigarette manufacturing and was likely to spark concerns for devout Muslims and Jews.
Concerns: Dutch research has found that the haemoglobin in pig's blood is used by some tobacco manufacturers in cigarette filters 'I think that there would be some particularly devout groups who would find the idea that there were pig products in cigarettes to be very offensive,' he told the Sydney Daily Telegraph. 'The Jewish community certainly takes these matters extremely seriously and the Islamic community certainly do as well, as would many vegetarians.
PIG 05049 from Christien Meindertsma on Vimeo.
'It just puts into hard relief the problem that the tobacco industry is not required to declare the ingredients of cigarettes - they say "that's our business and a trade secret".' The research found pig haemoglobin - a blood protein - was being used to make the filters more effective at blocking toxic chemicals before they entered a smoker's lungs. Professor Chapman said that although some tobacco companies had voluntarily published a list of the contents in their cigarettes on websites, they also noted undisclosed 'processing aids' in the finished product. At least one brand of cigarettes sold in Greece has been confirmed to be using pig haemoglobin (swine blood) in its manufacturing processes, he added. Professor Chapman said: 'If you're a smoker and you're of Islamic or Jewish faith then you'd probably want to know and there is no way of finding out.
Smokers may be getting a lot more than they bargain for when lighting up — like inhaling traces of pig’s blood. Pig hemoglobin is sometimes used in cigarette filters, according to recent Dutch research reported by The Daily Telegraph — a disclosure that is bound to upset many devout Muslims and Jews.
Islamic and Jewish religious texts expressly forbid consumption of pork in any form, and vegetarians may find this hidden ingredient unpalatable as well. "It just puts into hard relief the problem that the tobacco industry is not required to declare the ingredients of cigarettes ... they say 'that's our business' and a trade secret,” University of Sydney public health professor Simon Chapman told The Daily Telegraph. Chapman is a sociologist with a Ph.D. on the study of the signs, symbols, and significance of cigarette advertising as well as a book author.
Though many tobacco companies now voluntarily provide ingredient lists on their website, the swine-derived blood protein is reportedly hidden within "processing aids ... that are not significantly present in, and do not functionally affect, the finished product,” says Chapman.
But cigarette formulas won’t remain so secretive for much longer. In June, tobacco companies must furnish complete ingredient lists to the FDA, including any studies the companies have done on those ingredients. The FDA will then determine which ingredients could make cigarettes more harmful or addictive and could eventually ban certain ingredients. However, quick action is unlikely. "Tobacco products today are really the only human-consumed product that we don't know what's in them," Lawrence R. Deyton, the director of the Food and Drug Administration's new Center for Tobacco Products and a physician, told The Associated Press.
Of course in the past smoking was not considered haram because its effect was never fully known, although as early as in the seventeenth century, many people had already spoken of its harm. However we cannot place it at the same level of alcohol since it is a different issue.
The prohibition of wine is clear in the Qur'an because it is an intoxicant. Based on that, all alcohol products are prohibited. Tobacco on the other hand is a different substance. Its biggest harm is not on the mind but on the physical body. What is Haram in Islam is Haram and should not be used regardless whether it is comparable to alcohol or not. The verses in the Qur'an and the Hadiths from prophet Muhammad (pbuh) are too numerous to mention about the prohibition to hurt one's self (physical and spiritual harm). From our opinion, if someone truly understands Islam, then even if tobacco was not Haram, it is still a habit that the prophet (pbuh) would have discouraged because it is a disgusting, harmful, and wasteful habit, and that in itself is a sufficient reason to stop smoking.
As in any addiction, the person must have strong faith in Allah and a determined will to stop. Every smoker knows that it is difficult to stop and wishes that his most beloved people never get into the habit. Therefore, try to help him by letting him admit that he is a drug addict, then he should seek help to stop.
Responding to the question, Sheikh Muhammad Al-Mukhtar Al-Shinqiti, Director of the Islamic Center of South Plains, Lubbock, Texas, states the following:
"The most correct and preferred view among jurists is that smoking is haram (prohibited). Therefore, selling the haram is tantamount to consuming it. In addition, selling cigarettes is harmful, and inflicting harm on anyone is also forbidden according to the principles of Islam. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said: “There must not be harm or reciprocating harm.”
Even if the person is going to harm only himself, we are not supposed to help him in doing this. What about if he is going to harm a lot of people?
The pretext that many people are raising that their businesses might be affected if they don’t sell cigarettes is a very weak argument. There cannot be an excuse for making money at the expense of harming people. There are many other alternatives that the merchant can try to make up for the shortage."
Moreover, Sheikh M. S. Al-Munajjid, a prominent Saudi Muslim lecturer and author, adds:
"Smoking is haram, growing tobacco is haram, and dealing in it is haram, because of the great harm which it causes. This is because of the Prophetic hadith “There must not be harm or reciprocating harm.”
• Is smoking haraam?
Answer: Yes, smoking is haraam.
• Is permissible to smoke hookkah pipe?
Answer: Smoking hookkah is evil and haraam. It is just as evil as smoking cigarettes.
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