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Flavouring agents in tobacco

December 2012 RIVM started publishing a list of ingredients added to tobacco products on the Dutch market. Since then, everyone who lives in the Netherlands has been able to find out what additives are present in each brand of tobacco products, what the function of each additive is, and how much of it is present.

Improving the taste

Tobacco manufacturers put additives into their products to improve their properties in various ways – to improve the taste, for example, to keep the tobacco moist or to stop it from crumbling. Because these additives make smoking a more enjoyable experience, they may actually tempt some non-smokers to start smoking. They can also make tobacco products more addictive. The combustion of tobacco additives during smoking can also give rise to toxic substances.

additieven tabak

Cigarettes contain an average of about 70 different additives. Many of these improve the flavour of the tobacco, such as benzaldehyde (which gives it an almond  flavour) and vanillin (which makes it taste of vanilla).

It has been scientifically established that smoking can cause lung cancer, cardiovascular diseases and respiratory complaints. About 20,000 people die in the   Netherlands every year as a result of smoking.