Star Scientific Supports Efforts to Bring Tobacco Harm Reduction Debate to Center Stage
CHESTER, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 6, 2002--Star Scientific issued the following comments today on the US Smokeless Tobacco Company (UST) request for an advisory opinion from the FTC regarding the ability to identify smokeless tobacco products, in labeli
UST has requested that the FTC issue an advisory opinion that would allow companies to tell adult consumers, on product labeling and advertising, that smokeless tobacco use is a less harmful alternative to cigarette smoking. The role tobacco harm reduction can play in benefiting the public health is a debate whose time has come. Star Scientific supports all efforts that will illuminate the body of scientific evidence that confirms this reality. While there is robust debate within the public health community about the most effective means of reducing tobacco use, there are two conclusions about which there appears to be broad agreement: all tobacco manufacturing efforts should center on products that expose adult tobacco users to fewer toxins; and that the most dangerous form of tobacco use occurs when tobacco is burned and cigarette smoke is inhaled into the lungs.
Star Scientific was founded on the belief that it is possible to lessen the harm associated with tobacco use through new technologies, and that good science should serve as the basis for tobacco manufacturing in the 21st century. Star is the exclusive licensee of the patented, cutting-edge StarCured(TM) tobacco-curing technology that we believe has fundamentally changed the way flue-cured tobacco is processed in the United States. Independent laboratory testing validates that this technology virtually eliminates a group of the most powerful and abundant cancer-causing toxins in tobacco leaf and smoke, known as the tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs). Our success in scaling up the StarCured(TM) process enabled us to move forward with the development of an innovative, smoke-free tobacco product, Ariva(TM) cigaletts(TM). The tobacco in Ariva(TM) is 100% powdered, compressed StarCured(TM) tobacco. Ariva(TM) provides adult smokers an alternative tobacco product that delivers taste satisfaction without exposing them or those around them to toxic cigarette smoke. These cigaletts(TM) also offer an aesthetic advantage: there is no need to spit because they dissolve completely in the mouth.
Our focus during the past several years on the reduction of TSNAs in tobacco stems from the work of distinguished scientists like Dietrich Hoffmann, Ph.D., who have published numerous articles that define the causal relationship between TSNAs and tobacco-related disease. Some of these articles published recently (see, for example, Chemical Research in Toxicology, July 2001) also conclude that TSNAs are the major carcinogen in smokeless tobacco1. It is our belief, therefore, that any Federal Trade Commission review of harm reduction principles needs to focus on the potential for public health benefit that may result from transitioning adult smokers from cigarettes to smoke-free tobacco products with drastically reduced nitrosamine levels. It is for this very reason that Star Scientific has decided to shift its focus from the manufacture of smoked to smoke-free tobacco products like Ariva(TM) and Stonewall(TM) moist and dry snuffs, as well as to the leaf processing and licensing of StarCured(TM) tobacco.