R.J. Reynolds to Present Research on Potential Method to Reduce Controversial Compounds in Flue-cured Tobacco
On Sept. 6, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company will present the international tobacco-science community with RJR research indicating that a simple, practical, tobacco-curing process that can use existing curing barns significantly reduces certain controversial
RJR announced the discovery of this process earlier this year and indicated they were conducting ongoing tests to confirm that their lab results could be reproduced under real-world growing conditions.
David E. Townsend, Ph.D., RJR's vice president of product and process development, will summarize findings from six years of research conducted by R.J. Reynolds to investigate how TSNAs form in tobacco and how they might be reduced or removed. That research, as well as preliminary findings from ongoing research, indicates that using heat exchangers instead of direct-fire burners in tobacco curing barns could reduce the levels of nitrosamines in flue-cured tobacco by an average of at least 80%.
Some scientists have speculated that TSNAs could be among the main reasons that cigarette smoking has been associated with an increased risk of cancer.
``TSNAs have been identified as carcinogens at very high doses in some animal experiments,'' said Townsend. ``Because of that, RJR's product- stewardship philosophy demands that we actively pursue ways to reduce their occurrence in cigarette smoke. If our test results are confirmed, Reynolds Tobacco will study methods for potential use of reduced-TSNA tobacco in all of our brands.
``Unfortunately,'' he said, ``there is no scientific basis at this time to conclude that reducing nitrosamines or any other single class of compounds will reduce the risks associated with smoking.
``So even if we found a way to totally eliminate TSNAs from all tobacco,'' Townsend said, ``it would be impossible to conclude that there had been a potential reduction in health risks without substantiation from a comprehensive battery of appropriate toxicological and biological tests. With the available scientific information, not making health claims about low-nitrosamine tobacco is the responsible approach.''
The RJR research results will be presented by Townsend at the Joint Meeting of the Smoke and Technology Groups of the CORESTA Congress, to be held in Innsbruck, Austria, Sept. 6-9. CORESTA is an international organization dedicated to sharing scientific knowledge about tobacco and tobacco products.
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company is a wholly owned subsidiary of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: RJR - news). R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company is the second-largest tobacco company in the United States, manufacturing about one of every four cigarettes sold in the United States. Reynolds Tobacco's product line includes four of the nation's ten best-selling cigarette brands: Winston, Camel, Salem and Doral