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TOBACCO firms will get just six months to clean up the "lethal cocktail" of additives in cigarettes or face a Government ban.

Ministers want manufacturers to cut cancer-causing chemicals.

If they fail to comply, new laws will come in to remove brands from shelves.

In the past, firms have admitted using 600 additives in cigarettes. Experts say some contain chemicals including those found in toilet cleaner, insect poison, mothballs and lighter fuel.

Now Public Health Minister Yvette Cooper wants the most dangerous additives outlawed. She is particularly alarmed about ammonia which is used to speed up the nicotine "hit" to the brain.

Ministers also want to curb cigarettes being laced with sweeteners such as honey and caramel to lure teenagers.

Ms Cooper said: "About 120,000 people die from smoking every year. We want the industry to do more to cut potentially harmful additives and carcinogens."

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) spokesman Clive Bates said: ''These additives can make up a lethal cocktail and should be banned."
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Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 15, 2001
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