Reynolds Tobacco Will Use Flue-Cured Tobacco Low in Nitrosamines
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., Dec. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company will begin using U.S. flue-cured tobacco with significantly reduced tobacco- specific nitrosamines (TSNAs) in its cigarette blends as soon as practical.
Reynolds Tobacco scientists have found that TSNA levels could be reduced by more than 90 percent in flue-cured tobacco leaf by using heat exchangers instead of direct-fire burners in tobacco barns. Tests in real-world conditions conducted by RJRT this year confirmed earlier laboratory results, and the company decided it would move as quickly as possible to the use of low-TSNA flue-cured tobacco in all its cigarette brands.
``Because TSNAs as individual compounds have been identified as carcinogens at very high doses in some animal experiments, RJRT's product-stewardship philosophy dictates that we switch to low TSNA flue-cured tobacco in our cigarette blends as soon as we feasibly can,'' said Gary Burger, RJRT executive vice president, research and development.
``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,'' he said. ``With the scientific information that is available, not making health claims about low-nitrosamine tobacco is the responsible approach.''
In order to obtain sufficient quantities of domestically grown, low-TSNA tobacco immediately to begin the changeover, the company is in the process of recruiting U.S. growers from throughout the flue-cured growing area to provide the leaf. RJRT will assist them with the cost of converting their existing bulk barns to accommodate heat exchangers.
RJRT said it has freely shared the findings of its research with competitors, leaf suppliers, growers associations and the academic community.
The company is also researching methods to make similar TSNA reductions in burley tobacco.
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.