Health officials have known for decades that smoking cigarettes causes disease in nearly every organ of the human body and that animal tests are poor predictors of these effects. Yet tobacco companies and the contract laboratories that they hire continue to conduct cruel, irrelevant animal tests on new and existing products.
In tests that many people don’t realize are still being conducted, animals are forced to breathe cigarette smoke for up to six hours straight, every day, for as long as three years. Animals naturally avoid breathing cigarette smoke, so lab rats are forced into tiny canisters, and cigarette smoke is pumped directly into their noses. In the past, dogs and monkeys have had tubes attached to holes in their necks or have had masks strapped to their faces to force smoke into their lungs. In other commonly conducted tests, mice and rats have cigarette tar applied directly to their bare skin to induce the growth of skin tumors.