Is Smoking Vegan?

Is Smoking Vegan?

Despite decades of debate, denial, and dubious
behavior on the part of the tobacco industry regarding the potential dangers of cigarettes,
it’s now generally agreed upon that smoking is bad for your health. Smoking damages nearly
every organ in the body, causing strokes, coronary heart disease, respiratory diseases,
a whole slew of cancers, and other deleterious effects. And while big tobacco has
done its best to feign ignorance since the 40’s, we now know the answer to “Is smoking
bad for you?” is a resounding yes. But a less-hotly debated question remains: is smoking
vegan? Hi it’s Emily from Bite Size Vegan and welcome
to another vegan nugget. While being vegan is often associated with a level of health
fanaticism approaching daily wheatgrass juice enemas and coffee colonics, the truth is,
not everyone goes vegan for their health. There are junk food vegans, vegans who drink
alcohol, and yes, even vegans who smoke. And I mean tobacco, not the other thing everyone
assumes all vegans smoke… But can cigarettes be considered vegan? As
usual, the answer to this question is more complex than it would first appear. I’m
going to touch on the various areas of concern, but please refer to the blog post for this
video for citations and more detailed information. The main areas of concern we’ll be addressing
are: animal ingredients in cigarettes, animals killed in the farming process, animal
testing, the environmental impact, second hand smoke and companion animals child
labor and worker toxicity exposure and of course a nod to health The most basic measure of whether something
is vegan or not is whether it contains animals or their byproducts. When we combine the myriad
of ways we disguise animal byproducts with the close to 600 ingredients found in cigarettes, including arsenic, formaldehyde, lead, ammonia, acetone and other far less-pronounceable elements,
it becomes rather difficult to ascertain if anything is animal-derived. This issue was brought to a very public head
back in 2010 when a press release, light on the facts but big on the sensation, claimed
that cigarettes may contain pig’s blood. This revelation came from artist Christien
Meindertsma’s three-year-long project entitled Pig 05049, which tracked and documented all
of the ways one pig’s body was used post-slaughter, including in cigarette filters. Anti-smoking advocate Professor Simon Chapman
of the University of Sydney saw this as an opportunity to use public outrage, particularly
among Jewish, Muslim, vegetarian and vegan populations, to bring to light “concerns
that ingredients such as additives or processing aids used in tobacco products are virtually
unregulated and non-transparent.” After creating the press release, the story
went viral and built into quite a frenzy, with Iranian officials calling it a Zionist
conspiracy and tobacco companies churning out denials left and right. The truth of the
matter is far less titalating. In 1997 a Greek tobacco company set out to create a healthier
cigarette, using pig’s blood in the filter to mitigate toxins. The resulting BioFilter
led the company to second place in the Greek tobacco industry, though every scientific
study to evaluate these claims found them to be patently false, and in 2002
Greece finally outlawed their “healthier smoking” claims. As far as I can tell, the
filters are still on the market and I have link on the blog post to the company’s website
with more information. There are also at least two other animal-derived
ingredients in cigarettes, which are far more regularly employed: beeswax and castoreum.
Beeswax is rather self-explanatory and you can see my video here on the vegan-ness of
bee products for more information. Castoreum, used in cigarettes to lend a sweet, smoky
flavor, is another matter entirely. I covered the glories of castoruem in one
of my very first vegan nuggets ever on What’s Really In Your Food, back when both my editing
skills and language were a little less polished. “If all of that isn’t enough for you,
have you ever wondered where artificial raspberry, vanilla or strawberry flavors come from? Castoreum!
– An extract made from dried, ground up sacs located by the anal glands of beavers. Yes, we are talking about pouches in the *ss
of a beaver. It can be added to foods such as gums, alcohol, candy and baked goods. Perhaps
tossing a beaver’s salad does give you a nice little vanilla flavor but does that really
make it right?” [I’ve come a long way…] Castoreum is harvested by killing beavers
and cutting out their castor glands, making it a most definitively un-vegan ingredient. So when it comes to animals in your smokes,
bees and beaver butts are more likely than pigs blood, but just as un-vegan. Now I’ll just speak very briefly to the
concern of animals killed during tobacco farming and harvesting. While we should strive for
pesticide-free, sustainable farming, with any crop, field animals are going to
be unintentionally harmed and killed in the farming and harvesting process. We have to
eat but we don’t have to smoke, so the animals killed by tobacco farming are entirely avoidable
deaths. And now, to the heavy-hitter of the vegan
cigarette debate: animal testing. I have a four-part video series on animal testing which
goes into greater detail about the inefficacy of animal tests, why we are still conducting
them, how they endanger and even kill humans, and what viable alternatives exist, which
I’ve linked up here and below if you want to delve deeper into this matter. Perhaps the most insane aspect of animal testing
as a whole is its complete and utter lack of credible results. It’s no secret that
our bodies differ greatly from other species, and so, it follows, would our reactions to
stimuli and toxins. In regards to tobacco specifically, Dr. C
Ray Greek of Americans for Medical Advancement states that “Animal experiments failed notoriously
to demonstrate a smoking-cancer connection for over half a century…If the greatest
killer of our time was promoted by physicians based on animal experiments, there is obviously
something terminally wrong with the system.” A 2015 paper drawing on more than 50 recent
toxicology studies, demonstrated the superiority of widely available modern, non-animal models
over inaccurate animal tests for measuring the toxicity of tobacco products. In 2012,
the U.S. Congress even stated that “there is significant scientific evidence that animals
are poor models for the testing of tobacco products used by humans.” Unlike all medications, tobacco products are
not required to undergo animal testing. The UK, Germany, Belgium and other countries even
banned their usage and Canada requires only in vitro studies, meaning on a cellular level
rather than on whole living animals. Even the tobacco industry’s own studies
have concluded that “in vitro toxicology tests can be successfully used both for better
understanding the biological activity of cigarette smoke … and for guiding the development
of cigarettes with reduced toxicity.” Despite this fact, tobacco companies, government
agencies, the American Cancer Society, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, among other
organization and, yes, even anti-smoking groups continue to test cigarettes on animals. On this video’s blog post I have links to
several articles and studies which catalogue, describe, and demonstrate the myriad of horrifying
animal tobacco tests, but I’m going to just share a few of them
with you. Perhaps the most visually shocking type of
tobacco testing are the direct smoking tests, made famous in 1975 by undercover Sunday People
reporter Mary Beith in her expose known as “The Smoking Beagles.” Beith got a position
in an Imperial Chemical Industries laboratory where 48 beagles were restrained with straightjackets,
placed into what Beith described as “medieval stocks” and fitted with tubed masks which
forcibly pumped cigarette smoke into their lungs day in and day out for up to three years
for some of the dogs. Beith reported that, “when they have finished their smoking stint
the dogs are killed and sent to pathology laboratories to be cut up and examined for
signs of cancer, liver or heart diseases or other possible effects. Some of the dogs have
acquired a smoker’s cough judging from the sounds I heard.” The images Beith captured sparked global outrage,
yet only two of the 48 beagles were rescued in a technically illegal act of liberation
by activist Mike Huskisson and an unnamed partner in the early days of the Animal Liberation
Front. While not garnering the same level of disgust
from the public, direct smoking tests on mice and rats are just as horrifying. Their entire
bodies are crammed into tiny canisters that pump smoke directly into their noses for six
or more hours a day up to two years. Direct smoking tests can also involve tracheotomies.
In a 2001 study at the Oregon National Primate Research Center involving sixty-seven pregnant
Rhesus macaque monkeys, half of the monkeys had tubes surgically implanted in order to
subject them to a continuous flow of nicotine for the last four months of their pregnancies.
Five days before the mothers reached full term, the experimenters cut out, killed and
dissected the fetuses of all 67 mothers. These kind of experiments are still being
carried out on mice, rats, beagles, monkeys, apes, and other sentient beings.They are not required by law, have no scientific validity and they even
endanger humans with the cross-species application of their results, and are all for a product
that is not only completely unnecessary but also deadly to consumers and damaging to the
environment. Speaking to the environmental impact of smoking,
around 5.6 trillion cigarette butts are dumped into the environment every year. When these
butts land in water or on the soil, all of the chemicals and carcinogenic ingredients
we discussed creates leachates, a toxic soup that poisons fish and other wildlife. Of course smoking also affects one’s home
environment as well. A series of studies at Tufts University and Colorado State University
found that second hand smoke is just as harmful to companion animals as it is humans. Cats
living with smokers are twice as likely to develop malignant lymphoma, and dogs living
with smokers develop cancers of the nose and sinus area, all of which are terminal within
a year. And then there’s the human cost of tobacco
farming. Green Tobacco Sickness (GTS) is cause by the constant exposure of workers to the
nicotine of the plants, which is absorbed through their skin. This is exacerbated
in the case of child workers and child labor is a major issue within America’s tobacco
farming. While several countries, including major tobacco producers such as Brazil and
India, prohibit children under 18 from working on tobacco farms, in the US children as young
as 12 work in fields for 50 to 60 hours a week in extreme heat and with ongoing exposure
to pesticides and nicotine. And of course, there are the health consequences,
which may or may not even be an inherently vegan issue, and which is thoroughly documented
elsewhere. If you are a smoker and want to stop for any reason, please see the blog post
for this video where I’ve included a list of resources to support you in quitting. I hope that this video has been helpful. I’d
love to hear your thoughts- do you think smoking can be considered vegan? If you were a smoker
who went vegan, did you quit? Are you a non-vegan smoker wanting to go vegan but overwhelmed
that now you have to ditch the cigarettes too? [If so, personally, I’d say focus on
the meat, dairy, eggs and honey first and then tackle big tobacco.]
The time it to produce this video clocks in at around ____ .   If you’d like to
help support Bite Size Vegan so I can keep putting hours to bring you this educational
resource, please check out the support links in the video description below where you can
give a one-time donation or receive perks and rewards for your support by joining the
Nugget Army–the link for that is also in the iCard sidebar. If you enjoyed this video, please give it a
thumbs up and share it around to help inform others. If you’re new here, be sure to hit
that big red subscribe button down there for more awesome vegan content every Monday, Wednesday,
and some Fridays! Now go live vegan, just say no, and I’ll see you soon. In a repeated national survey, doctors in all branches of medicine doctors in all parts of the country we asked, “what cigarette do you smoke doctor?” Once again, the brand named most was Camel. Yes, according to this repeated nationwide survey, more doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette. Why not change to Camels for the next 30 days and see what a difference it makes in your smoking enjoyment. See how Camels agree with your throat. See how mild and good tasting a cigarette can be. Subtitles by the community

100 Replies to “Is Smoking Vegan?

  1. This was really good info, I still smoke 🙁 I did NOT know all the information that you covered in this video! PS. I liked the little "Not the other stuff that ppl seem to assume… all vegans… smoke…" hahaha that was cute 🙂

  2. I've been vegan for almost 2 years now, & I'm very passionate about it. I obviously don't eat any type of animal product, don't buy any fur, leather, or anything like that, do not buy any products that test on animals. I even protest everytime I can, for many different animal rights related causes.
    However, smoking cigarettes is the one thing I can't seem to give up. I smoked my first cigarette when I was 11, & have been addicted since I was 12. I now smoke about a pack & a half per day.
    I did recently hear, though, that it's actually not the cigarette companies testing on animals. its allegedly the government, who use different companies tobacco products, but the actual cigarette companies are not involved. I could be wrong, but I really hope I'm not, because this has given me an extreme peace of mind.

  3. if the product is dangerous enough that we have to test it on animals why the FUCK are we smoking them ourselves.

    we are a despicable species.

  4. great video. wanted to say that i used to smoke close to 10 years. 2 weeks after my transition to vegan i stopped smoking cold turkey. i was kind of surprise myself how that happened since i was smoking pack a day for 10 years. i am not sure if it had any psychological factors behind it ( becoming vegan and working out) but i did it. smokers do your best to quit, for yourself and animals and environment. it worth i.
    p.s. havent touched a cigarette since i quit and still no craving for it.

  5. Emily you are the light that will crush the darkness created by ignorance.
    Thank you so much to do what you do for the animals, mother earth and yes, as well for humans

  6. NOOOOOOOOO!!! Well, another reason to quit. Looks like it's back to dip. I like running better than smoking anyway.

  7. Smoking is not vegan. It's not necessary and killing animals to grow tobacco is wrong. Testing animals is not vegan. Animal products in them is not vegan. Smoking is not VEGAN great job on the video!

  8. I quit two months ago. there are cigarettes without those ingredients and without animal testing, but what really helped me was that I tried to reduce the waste I am causing. Those cigarette butts are really bad for the environment…

  9. I can't believe how stupid humans are
    "Let's make a chemical filled tube for humans that are obviously bad for humans force people and animals to be poisoned to prove they are bad for humans"

  10. I want to try a cigarette. I know how bad they are but I don't plan on making it a habit nor could I afford it. So why not try one for the hell of it? The least I could do is get the American Spirit ones without all the added chemicals.

  11. omfg, the fucking beagles tests brought me to tears I had a female beagle who passed out 2 years ago and a male one who's still alive and they're my moms favorite dog breed. I have always said it and always will, humans do not deserve a place in this planet, everything we touch we fuck it up

  12. Don't get me wrong, I am vegan and support you 100%, but surely there aren't enough beavers for the countless cigarettes that are being made/sold and for other artificial flavoring?

  13. PSA to all vegans or those transitioning to veganism that are also simultaneously addicted to cigarettes, American Spirits are vegan, not any less dangerous in my opinion regardless of it being the more natural option, but definitely worth the extra few bucks to not have to debate on your moral alignment with being vegan and smoking cigarettes.

  14. picking backer is how people got there middle and high school clothes farmers paid shit long hours hot sun this was in kentucky

  15. This was very very informative Emily, thank you! I quit smoking cigarettes 4 years ago and have not looked back once. I quit for heath reasons for myself and my son. The first 3 days are the hardest. I watched all of the YouTube commercials including the one where a little boy was left in the airport by himself for like 30 seconds or a minute and how he was terrified because his mother disappeared. Remember that one?? anyway, that and heavy exercise for weeks helped me quit. Every time I craved a cigarette, I did like 30 jumping jacks. Now that I'm a vegetarian (working on going vegan) I am more interested in the environmental effects of the tobacco industry. Thank you for sharing.

  16. I'm switching to American Spirit INSTANTLY and I'm going to work on cutting down or quitting as soon as this stressful project ends after summer. Giving up everything else was easy, cheese I failed a few times at first, but now nearly a year without. Don't miss it. I can do cigarettes too! Thank god I don't have any pets.

  17. Hi there, I am a smoking vegan, and I found your video very informative and helpful. However, you didn't mention whether there are "vegan" cigarettes in terms of the presence of animal products. I understand that overall it has a bad impact on evironnement health etc. But for those of us who can't/don't want to stop smoking, is there a way to find cigarettes that, at least, do not contain the animal products you mentionned? Thanks for your help and your awesome work. Cheers! 🙂

  18. This is the kick in the butt I needed to finally ditch the smokes! Everyone says put your own health first but knowing that every smoke I have is the result of cruelty is way more important than myself.

  19. This is the kick in the butt I needed to finally ditch the smokes! Everyone says put your own health first but knowing that every smoke I have is the result of cruelty is way more important than myself.

  20. Thanks for posting this video. You have just made it very easy for me to give up smoking. I will always put animals before me. Peace ✌️

  21. Damn, I guess i'll have to quit. i actually thought it was vegan so i still continued to smoke even after giving up meat, dairy and eggs. I turned vegan for the planet and the animals, not my health.

  22. @Bite Size Vegan I'm 21 and I started smoking when I was 16 more or less. During these years I've tried to quit several times, but always failed after a few days. Then some time ago I tried with the famous Allen Carr's book…I failed anyway, despite I agreed with his reasons!
    Recently (about three months ago) I went vegan, and later on I realized what Carr was trying to say in his book: how disgusting it was to smoke, and I just quit. Today I don't feeI any desire to smoke a cigarette because it would be too sick for me, no joke!
    I think what happened to me might have something to do with the overly intense flavors that omnivore diet has. Flavors that are so overwhelming that our tastebuds can't feel nothing, like a drug!

  23. I quit smoking cigarettes the same day I went vegan because of the whole animal experimentation thing. I did smoke a puff or two afterwards but always because I was a)slightly drunk, and b) curious about how they would taste the longer I was vegan. The answer is: fucking disgusting.
    Didn't stop smoking weed though.

  24. I'm grateful for the Dutch subtitles, otherwise I don't think my mother would understand the whole video. She's trying to quit smoking and I hope this nugget of info will motivate her some more 🙂 Bedankt!

  25. Actually pure tabbaco used in ceremonies as a cleanser has benificial properties to eliminating toxins and parasites for the body and spirit, see mapacho tabbaco from Peru. So no not all tabbaco has a negative imprint. I don't smoke I use tabbaco as a cleanser. What's yours take on trek bars? They are meant to be vegan but they contain the dreaded "natural flavourings" label.

  26. Thx for this. imho NO ITS NOT VEGAN. Animals are tormented and killed as many are used to be experimented on to test cigarettes.

  27. emily, no one goes vegan for their health. they go plant based. no one goes vegan for the environment. again, they go plant based.

    if you're smoking you're not vegan. harden the fuck up and quit. you don't need it to survive.

  28. Thank you for video!
    I`m vegan and I vape. According to what I know, vaping doesn`t hurt animals. However, it was very informative video for me and my friend-smoker!

  29. I did not know about this. I'm a vegan and a smoker. But now I can't consider smoking as a "vegan" practise anymore. From now on I'll stop smoking and throw all my cigarrettes. It will be very hard but, as I did with the meat, eggs, honey and milk… Now I know that this practise is totally violent with animals. Thank you so much, you (as Gary did with the food) opened my eyes.

  30. Thank you as always for a good video and supporting a healthy life and environment. I have been Vegan for over a month now and feeling so much better in many ways. I still am struggling to completely quit smoking. I have went down from smoking a pack per day in the past to only 1 or 2 per day and sometimes not smoking at all for days in a row. Every time I smoke it just feels like my mind and body both just scream with regret and sickness. I literally feel sick after I smoke, and naturally so as it is poison. My situation and others can be difficult mentally at times because we start feeling so much better health wise after being vegan.. and so we tend to justify things like smoking mentally because we are feeling good at the time before we smoke, but after, it's like taking 2 steps backward on all the progress we have made with healing our bodies. Smoking, besides the nicotine addiction, is a very mental and emotional thing by its nature.. it's a habit, it's a crutch and it tricks you into being it's friend. It's always there for you when you are bored, when you are lonely and when you are stressed. But it is a "counterfeit friend." It secretly stabs you in the back every time you give in. I promise that I will fight to stop and keep fighting. I just bought a pack this morning and had a couple, and I am only filled with regret, sorrow and feeling a bit sick. I destroyed the rest of the pack. To anyone fighting with me, keep it up and don't stop the fight. We can and will beat it. It's worth it.

  31. I went vegan a long time ago and quit smoking when I did. I recently started casually smoking and I hate it… so… I've completely quit again. Videos like this help keep me strong and continue to encourage the lifestyle I've chosen. Supporting/informing/encouraging other vegans is so important. Thank you sincerely for this video.

  32. So is smoking roll ups or roleys or whatever you call it in america (From the uk here) vegan? I've only been vegan 3 weeks from 2 years veggie but it's insane the amount of stuff you have to look up. Almost everything i've ever ate i have had to look up for an email or company confirmation that no animal bi products were used. You say cigarettes have pig fat, beaver asshole and whatever else in it but i only smoke roll ups. Do those have the same stuff in ? there's no filter… So just hit me with environment facts relating to animals and i don't have to research this much further lol. thx guys/girls <3

  33. Thank you SO much for making this video. (And all your others.) There's a vegan restaurant in Paris were people are ALWAYS out in front smoking, and it just…. GAAAAAH. Sharing this. 🙏🏼

  34. 1 sec…
    ok soz i had to go on a vegan rant. its over you can come out from under the table.

  35. So my chewing habit is slightly better than smoking, but now it sounds like I have some newer, compelling reasons to try quitting besides my own health. Thanks again for another great, informative video!

  36. I usually roll my own cig, unfiltered cigarettes. and I bought my tobacco from local farmer in my country. The only thing chemical used is pesticide, I believe there is no animal testing involved. most of the flavouring to my liking are based from food grade vegetable based products. So, can we now live happily ever after as an alpha primate?

  37. Veganism is as much a life style and philosophy as it is a dietary choice. It embraces morality, ethics, and environmental concerns as well as health. This being true makes it blatantly obvious that smoking tobacco or weed is definitely not vegan.

  38. I am vegan and I do vape as a way to deal with anxiety, colon stasis and a few other sensitive gut issues that years of misdiagnosis and improper treatment gifted me with. I won't claim it is healthy but for me taking the nearly dozen pills to combat these issues that a combination of going vegan and a few self medication items like vaping allowes me to get off. Is vaping vegan?

  39. I really had no idea that animals had anything to do with cigs. I found out that American Spirit are vegan. Anyway I am working on stopping, I am transitioning to a vape, then hopefully stopping all together.

  40. I love your videos. I have been wondering about this, and feeling like it is not in anyway vegan. This helped a lot. Thank you. 🙏

  41. I think this is a bit too much. I found a company that stands big on no additives and no animal testing and the company where it falls under does not have any pruducts that test on animals.
    About the enviorment, I do think you have a point, but I highly doubt that all the vegans that say this don't drive a car or at least use some form of transportation that contributes to much greater air pullition. It comes of to me as hypocritical.

    Also, I feel like a part of the vegan society doesn't want all these new people trying to live the best way they can and tryng to get involved in the vegan lifestyle and they get judged so easily. It feels like vegans want to be some sort of elite group and if you don't do it perfect than you do not belong or if you just see something a little different. It's not a smart thing to do. Lots of peope are extremly intimidated by this. Change is most effective when done in small steps or at least in a managable tempo. Even I won't call myself a vegan anymore(even though I mostly ride a bike, try to be as resourceful as I can about food water etc., also where my clothes come from, what the working conditions are and don't consume or wear any animal products.

    If you really want the animals to have a better place here, you should focus on improvement as a whole and not on if someone is following every single rule you have for your club (no offense). You could be speaking about your opinions in a loving way instead of pionting fingers and actually making progress and making people think.
    Not everyone cares that much about their own health or are just not able to in that moment. Lots of people do care about animal somewhere deep down though.
    I just wanted to go vegan because of the animals and because I want to be kinder to eath and doing my part. I still think living is a take and give relationship with eath and we have to figure out for oureselves and with eachother how much of that is going to be taking and giving. It's not as clear cut as just don't leave any bad trace of yourself behind. It's a procces that we should try to perfect as time goes on.

    At last I will say that this is not a rant, it's just something that I noticed and is not spoken about much. I have lot's of love and respect for anyone who is tryng to do something to make mother earth a bit happier in their own way.
    I'm not saying that every vegan is like this, I see lot's of vegans with a more loving approach or at least calm and intelligent.

    p.s. Sorry if my english is not correct

  42. I'm so glad to be free from nicotine dependence! I quit nicotine and tobacco for the health of my animal friends and self. Wish I never started because even free from the nicotine I still sometimes crave a smoke or get jelly of other smokers but then I take a deep breath and give thanks that I'm finally free. It helps that I smoke cannabis before bed so I got to keep the best part of smoking without any of the negatives. No more shallow breathing or smokers cough, no stink, no burn holes, no withdrawal, no desperate cig brakes out in the cold wind and rain, no more ashy floors or yellow walls, no more poisoning the air of my loved ones! If I ever feel the irresistible urge coming on I'll get a pack of those nicotine free non addictive cigarette alternatives until the stupid passes because I'll never go back to being addicted again. I know even a drag would be to much. I hope people stop getting hooked in the first place and just smoke something else instead if you must because nicotine addiction is worse than anything. The best way to quit is not to start and quit while your ahead

  43. Bite Sized Vegan I read yesterday online that American Spirit company Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company is the only Tobacco company not to experiment on animals. I think they mean big tobacco company because I'm sure there are smaller ones that don't experiment on animals. It sick and sad that tobacco companies are doing this. Thanks for the video! God Bless you always.

  44. I am vegan and smoke. Guess it is a bit hypocritical but tobacco is so addictive. I was never addicted to meat or dairy and I guess that is why it is so much harder to quit tobacco. I definitely would like to stop but its not easy

  45. Emily hi, thank you for this … I and others have shared your video here on my facebook post here: But your video is 5 years old, and some are asking if the information is current, fact-checked, etc. Also the picture of the beagle is being refuted as a beagle receiving oxygen on a firetruck. Would appreciate confirmation that my post is current and accurate. Thx!

  46. The buildup was spot on! I can't wait to watch this with my mom later. I'm a vegan who struggles with smoking sometimes.

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