Photo: The Richard W. Pollay 20th Century Tobacco Advertising Collection. Bidis, like the one shown here, come in flavors like dewberry, chocolate, and black licorice. They are appealing to teens, and just as dangerous as regular cigarettes. Nicotine occurs naturally in tobacco, but cigarette manufacturers have banked on nicotine's allure by encouraging a form known as "free-base" nicotine in the final product.
Nicotine, Pankow explains, occurs naturally in tobacco plants as either an acid or a base.
The acidic form is more stable, and therefore more concentrated. The basic form, known as "free-base" nicotine, is volatile, especially when smoked. As a result, it is absorbed quickly and efficiently into the lungs when a person smokes, where it quickly reaches the brain.
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Acidic nicotine, conversely, clings to the particles of smoke as they settle into the lungs, and is slowly absorbed before it is transported to the brain. The difference, Pankow says, is analogous to the difference between powder and crack cocaine, the latter of which is smoked in a similar free-base form and is considered to be the most addictive form of the drug. Tobacco companies have learned how to maximize the amount of free-base nicotine in commercial cigarettes by carefully blending different tobacco varieties and by directly converting the existing acidic nicotine into the free-base form.
The result, researchers think, is a more addictive, and thus more deadly, cigarette.
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There's much about converting more nicotine into the freebase form to get more nicotine into the smoke and so that the nicotine in the smoke becomes more available," says Pankow. Pankow and his team recently compared the levels of free-base nicotine found in the most common brands of American cigarettes see "Percent Free Base Nicotine.. They found that some -- including the famously popular Marlboro -- contain 10 to 20 times higher percentages of free-base nicotine than other brands. But the brand with the most free-base nicotine?
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Nicotine for health nuts? As most conscientious consumers know by now, the all-natural label doesn't always translate to all-healthy.
But as anti-tobacco ads flood the airwaves and health warnings abound, the market for "alternative" cigarettes is swelling noticeably. Enter the era of the concerned smoker, who passes up additive-laden cigarettes issued by corporate giants in favor of "clean" tobacco.
In response, a whole new crop of products has emerged from the tarpool. American Spirit is one of them.
Drake had written his second book, The Cultivator's Handbook of Natural Tobacco , and began cultivating a strain of Nicotiana rustica a friend had found on the San Juan Pueblo. Startup investments came from Edward Wikes, a plumbing contractor, Robert Wolf, an oil rig roughneck, and Philip Naumburg, an heir to the Elkan Naumburg fortune. In , the company's board of directors hired Robin Sommers, a graduate of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania who had been a subscription data specialist for Newsweek and Esquire in Greenwich Village before briefly running the Ice Palace nightclub on Fire Island.
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Sommers commissioned a New York City graphic artist to design a new art deco logo. After congressional hearings, Big Tobacco publicly released a item list of additives in cigarettes.
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Whole Foods Market and natural food stores began carrying American Spirit. Natural American Spirit became popular with celebrities, with Sean Penn , Joni Mitchell , and Gwyneth Paltrow praising the cigarette in magazine interviews and Mac Miller having the company logo tattooed on his chest. In , R.
In September , plaintiffs from twelve states sued Santa Fe Natural and Reynolds in the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico , seeking class action certification for consumer fraud from false labeling claims.
In November , a second lawsuit was filed for false advertising practices. Reynolds is represented in the litigation by Jones Day. District Court for the Southern District of Florida , alleging that the company's "organic and additive-free marketing claims for the Natural American Spirit brand" constituted fraud , false advertising , negligent misrepresentation , unjust enrichment , and unfair competition.
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