tocacco plant Native American Tobaccoo flower, leaves, and buds

tocacco Tobacco is an annual or bi-annual growing 1-3 meters tall with large sticky leaves that contain nicotine. Native to the Americas, tobacco has a long history of use as a shamanic inebriant and stimulant. It is extremely popular and well-known for its addictive potential.

tocacco nicotina Nicotiana tabacum

tocacco Nicotiana rustica leaves. Nicotiana rustica leaves have a nicotine content as high as 9%, whereas Nicotiana tabacum (common tobacco) leaves contain about 1 to 3%

tocacco cigar A cigar is a tightly rolled bundle of dried and fermented tobacco which is ignited so that its smoke may be drawn into the mouth. Cigar tobacco is grown in significant quantities in Brazil, Cameroon, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Indonesia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Sumatra, Philippines, and the Eastern United States.

tocacco Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the fresh leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. It can be consumed, used as an organic pesticide, and in the form of nicotine tartrate it is used in some medicines. In consumption it may be in the form of cigarettes smoking, snuffing, chewing, dipping tobacco, or snus.

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Tobacco Lozenges Seek FDA Stamp

Star Scientific Inc. said it filed the first application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to have a tobacco product certified as being less harmful than traditional forms of tobacco.

Star requested Friday that Ariva-BDL, a dissolvable tobacco lozenge with wintergreen flavoring, be approved as a “modified risk” product under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. The landmark law, enacted last year, gave the FDA broad authority to regulate the industry.

The filing by Star, a small publicly traded company based in Glen Allen, Va., is expected to be one of many such applications that will be filed by tobacco purveyors in the coming years. How the FDA views Star’s request could have wider implications for industry giants such as Reynolds American Inc., which also hope to be able to communicate to consumers that certain smokeless-tobacco products pose significantly lower health risks than conventional cigarettes.

The federal tobacco law sets a high bar to make such claims. Not only must a company demonstrate with scientific support that a product will reduce tobacco-related harm for individual users, but also benefit the overall health of the U.S. population.

Star, formed more than a decade ago, has been an industry pioneer in creating low-carcinogen tobacco tablets that are designed to appeal to smokers who find themselves in situations where they can’t or don’t want to smoke. But its products, sold under the Ariva and Stonewall brands in some drug and convenience stores, have gained little traction in the marketplace.

Retail sales of smokeless tobacco in the U.S. total about $4 billion a year, mostly coming from moist snuff. Tobacco tablets such as Ariva represent a much smaller sub-category of the smokeless segment.

Ariva-BDL, which isn’t currently available in stores, is an improved version of Star’s existing products, lowering levels of toxins known as nitrosamines.

Star, in a news release expected to be made public Monday, said it believes the new product, if approved by the FDA, will be attractive to other companies, which could license it and help it become widely available to smokers.

Star believes adult smokers “pay a price—in terms of chronic disease and death— that demands the best efforts that can be brought to bear to offer alternatives to inhaling toxic cigarette smoke into the lungs every day,” a Star spokeswoman said.

It isn’t clear when the FDA might rule on Star’s application. The FDA has said it intends to take up to 360 days to decide on requests to certify products as “modified risk,” but that this timetable is preliminary and could change.

Reynolds, based in Winston-Salem, N.C., has been test-marketing for about a year its own various dissolvable tobacco products, including lozenges known as Camel Orbs.

How the FDA treats Star’s application for Ariva-BDL may indicate how the agency will regulate smokeless-tobacco products, which studies have shown are significantly safer than cigarettes.There’s a schism among public-health officials about whether smokers should be encouraged to move to smokeless-tobacco products. Some argue such policies could save lives, while others say they could prompt nonusers to try tobacco and become addicted to nicotine.

The FDA, concerned that dissolvable products may appeal to children and adolescents, recently asked Reynolds and Star Scientific to provide their research on how such products are perceived by people ages 25 and under.

Representatives of both companies said Sunday that their products are made for, and marketed to, adult tobacco users. The products appear in the tobacco sections of retailers. Both companies are working on responses to the agency.

Star suffered a blow last June when a jury ruled against the company in a federal lawsuit accusing R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. of infringing on Star patents covering a carcinogen-lowering process for curing tobacco. The company had sought several hundred million dollars from RJR, a unit of Reynolds American Inc., the maker of Camel and Pall Mall cigarettes. Star is appealing the decision.

Star’s stock price fell sharply after it lost the jury verdict. The company’s shares closed at 92 cents on the Nasdaq on Friday, and its market capitalization is about $99 million.

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