Monday, December 3, 2012

Brand B-The World's Lowest Tar to Nicotine Cigarette

For those of us who missed the news (I did)  last September, here is the latest news on Brand B, which I mentioned on this blog back in April 2012 :

CLARENCE, N.Y.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–22nd Century Group, Inc. (OTCBB: XXII), a company that has developed groundbreaking technology for tobacco harm reduction and smoking cessation products, announced that Dr. Michael Moynihan, Vice President of Research & Development, will present a poster today on the company’s proprietary BRAND B cigarette at the 66th Tobacco Science Research Conference (TSRC) being held in Concord, North Carolina
Slated for submission to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a modified risk candidate, BRAND B is reportedly the world’s lowest tar-to-nicotine ratio cigarette. Unlike low tar/low-nicotine brands on the market (previously labeled “light” or “ultra-light” before these descriptors were banned in the U.S. by the Tobacco Control Act in 2010), the nicotine yield of BRAND B is not reduced.
Studies of smokers using low tar-to-nicotine (LTN) research cigarettes such as BRAND B have demonstrated that smoking behavior changes and the dose of smoke inhaled by the smoker including “tar” is significantly reduced (Russell MAH 2000). Specifically, compensatory smoking (e.g., more and/or larger puffs per cigarette) of LTN research cigarettes is greatly curtailed.
Dr. Moynihan’s poster, Effect of Smoking Low Tar-to-Nicotine Ratio Cigarettes on Smoke Exposure, explains that incorporating tobacco with a higher-than-typical nicotine content, LTN cigarettes can be made with lower yields of harmful and potentially harmful smoke constituents while maintaining nicotine yields per cigarette similar to popular full-flavor brands. As announced in April 2012, utilizing studies of exposure to smoke constituents and consumer perception, 22nd Century will submit a modified risk cigarette application for BRAND B to the FDA.
Leading U.S. brands have an average tar-to-nicotine ratio of approximately 13 – meaning that approximately 13 parts “tar” is inhaled for every part nicotine. LTN cigarettes with a tar-to-nicotine ratio of 7 or less have the potential to reduce smoke exposure by 50 percent. If smoke inhalation with LTN cigarettes is reduced by 50 percent on average, confirmed by biomarkers in exposure studies, reduced harm is expected. 22nd Century’s CEO, Joseph Pandolfino explained, “A cigarette that reduces smoke exposure by an average of 50 percent is effectively a hybrid of a zero-tar e-cigarette and a Marlboro® Gold. How much would smoking-related disease decrease in the U.S. if all the cumulative smoke inhaled by smokers were cut in half?”
Joseph Pandolfino asks a question that is hard to ignore.

A 50% reduction in exposure to carcinogenic materials is a good place to start. It may not be an e-cigarette, but for those of us committed smokers who are not attracted to e-cigarettes (or to snus, pellets, or lozenges for that matter, etc..), a 50% reduction is a hell of an improvement; therefore, it is of paramount importance that THR (Tobacco Harm Reduction), defines its objective as one that is inclusive to all of the relevant possibilities. This means that combustible cigarettes need to be a part of the overall equation when it comes to reducing the adverse health effects from smoking.

One another note, I was pleasantly surprised to hear that Dr. Gio Batta Gori (of whom I have been a fan of for awhile now) appeared as a keynote speaker at last September's meeting for 22nd Century's shareholders:
Separately, one of the original proponents of LTN cigarettes, Dr. Gio Batta Gori, Director of the Health Policy Center in Bethesda, Maryland, will present a keynote address at 22nd Century Group’s annual shareholder meeting at 2:00 pm on Thursday, September 20, 2012. To be held in Clarence, New York, the annual meeting will be open to company shareholders, select guests, and the media. Dr. Gori will speak on the compelling reasons for less harmful cigarettes and their likely significance to the cigarette industry and the entire tobacco economy.
I would have liked to be there to hear what Dr. Gori had to say about Brand B. I'm certain that we will be hearing more from him on this pertinent issue, for the potential to save (and improve upon) the lives of so many smokers like myself is on the horizon.
Dr. Gori is also author of Virtually Safe Cigarettes: Reviving an Opportunity Once Tragically Rejected and a contributor to national research and prevention agendas at the U.S. National Cancer Institute, where he was deputy director of the Division of Cancer Cause and Prevention and director of the Smoking and Health Program. The latter aimed at developing reduced risk cigarettes, an effort for which Dr. Gori received the Superior Service Award of the U.S. Public Health Service.
About 22nd Century Group, Inc.
22nd Century is a plant biotechnology company whose proprietary technology allows for the level of nicotine and other nicotinic alkaloids (e.g., nornicotine, anatabine and anabasine) in the tobacco plant to be decreased or increased through genetic engineering and breeding. 22nd Century owns or is the exclusive licensee of 105 issued patents in 78 countries plus an additional 38 pending patent applications. Hercules Pharmaceuticals, LLC and Goodrich Tobacco Company, LLC are subsidiaries of 22nd Century focused on the company’s (i) prescription smoking cessation aid in development, X-22, and (ii) potential modified risk cigarettes, respectively.
For additional information, please visit:
22nd Century Press Release - September 10 2012.pdf (application/pdf Object)


  1. Interesting,it's good that THR extends beyond smokeless and electronic but let's see how the antis and especially the FDA will respond on this

    In addition,will the consumers be satisfied with the taste?

    1. THR has to extend beyond smokeless and electronic if any real progress is to be made. 92% of tobacco users are smokers (ie., prefer combustibles).

      We'll have to keep an eye on the FDA to see how receptive they are to the idea of reduced risk combustibles. It's also up to us smokers to make it known that we won't stand for anything less.

      I'm not worried about the taste..if not perfect at first, it can always be modified &/or improved upon. Of course, you can't please everyone, but that's how it goes. The important thing is to have the option out there. More will follow as a result of market demand.

  2. The Antis will of course ridicule it and will probably paint it as a "plot by Big Tobacco" to addict people more heavily to nicotine. About 15 years ago either RJR or PM looked into a tobacco strain called "Tobacco Y" or somesuch that had a higher nicotine yield -- they were experimenting with growing it on some land in Brazil at the time -- and the Antis jumped all over them on precisely that point.

    However... the concept wasn't new to me back then: All the way back in the mid/late 80s I'd actually switched over from smoking something over a pack a day of fairly light Tareytons to a couple of brands of nonfilters that had much better ratios of nicotine to both "tar" and carbon monoxide precisely because of the idea that the nicotine itself was the enjoyable factor and fairly harmless in the absorbed quantities. Instead of smoking 20 to 25 a day, I began happily smoking ten to 12 a day and enjoying them more. It's a very viable THR idea although not quite in the same "reduction" ballpark as something like snus or the e-cigs.

    The Tobacco Y strain fiasco shows how it'll be received though I'm afraid. Plus the tobacco companies really don't have much of an incentive for producing products that people will buy LESS of. LOL! Back in my more conspiracy-minded days of the 80s I used to think Big T was behind the whole light cig push just to get people to smoke twice as many! (And I *still* think the odor component of light cigarettes is MUCH stronger than that of conventional non-filters: Unfiltered Pall Malls actually have a rather pleasant slightly licorice scent to their smoke -- worth giving a try sometime! I think "light" brands include some chemical components designed to make them taste harsher in order to make up for their "lightness" and the "harsh-chemicals" have a stronger and more unpleasant odor component.)


    1. " It's a very viable THR idea although not quite in the same "reduction" ballpark as something like snus or the e-cigs. "

      In time there will be improvements. As for e-cigs and snus, most of us smokers are not attracted to either, so a harm reduction cigarette (or several versions there of) is of utmost importance for those of us who do not wish to quit combustibles. Oh, and speaking of varied versions of THR combustibles, research is already taking place for cigarettes with varying nicotine levels from very low to very high. It is only a matter of time until we have a very low tar cigarette with a high nicotine ratio, which would presumably reduce tar inhalation to practically nothing:

      - 22nd Century Group Delivers Additional Proprietary Research Cigarettes with Various Nicotine Levels-

      CLARENCE, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--22nd Century Group, Inc. (OTCBB: XXII), a company that has developed groundbreaking technology for tobacco harm reduction and smoking cessation products, today announced that the company has delivered an additional 2.7 million SPECTRUM® research cigarettes. SPECTRUM® was developed by 22nd Century for NIDA, a department of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and is strictly for independent research purposes. SPECTRUM® will not be sold as a commercial cigarette.


      ..More on this later:-)

      "Unfiltered Pall Malls actually have a rather pleasant slightly licorice scent to their smoke -- worth giving a try sometime!"

      Oh no, definitely not for me. I would never advocate smoking (not that I advocate any smoking, I just advocate freedom of choice and THR where possible.etc..) a non-filter cigarette; that's asking for double-trouble:-)

  3. LOL! Re double trouble... maybe, maybe not. If you smoke fewer of them, you might end up better off! :> For the last ten years of so I've rolled my own with a V-Master and find them much milder than most of the commercial cigarettes I occasionally bum.


    1. I hear you Michael. Less is always better when it comes to smoking' that's why I'm so interested in Brand B. If we could have access to a cigarette that tastes like a medium-full flavor cigarette that has little to no tar we would presumably inhale less intensely and maybe even feel the need to smoke less:-)

    2. ....and even if we didn't smoke fewer sticks, the idea of inhaling less basically achieves the same objective. But of course, as you have stated above, the antis will have a hard time accepting this as a "valid" THR method, but who's asking them anyway?

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