It helped make nico­tine mor­eish

Daily Mail - - Good Health -

WHY are cig­a­rettes so ad­dic­tive? It’s not just the nico­tine — it may also be thanks to the ad­di­tion of sugar. It’s a lit­tle told story, but was de­tailed in a 1950 Sugar Re­search Foun­da­tion re­port.

‘Were it not for sugar,’ says the U.S. De­part­ment of Agri­cul­ture to­bacco of­fi­cial, ‘the USA to­bacco in­dus­try would not have achieved such tremen­dous development.’

At the start of the last cen­tury, to­bacco for cigars and pipes lacked two el­e­ments cru­cial to mas­sive sales. First, the smoke was hard to in­hale deeply and not par­tic­u­larly pleas­ant be­cause it was al­ka­line. Then, when grow­ers found a way to cure it so the smoke was more acidic and there­fore eas­ier to in­hale, the process re­duced the nico­tine con­tent.

But in 1913 a new brand, Camel, had a break­through. Adding sugar to to­bacco dur­ing cur­ing main­tained the acid­ity and kept the nico­tine level up, for a more ad­dic­tive hit. By 1929, U.S. grow­ers were pour­ing 50 mil­lion pounds of sugar on their crop. There is no ev­i­dence they have stopped the prac­tice.

But turn­ing the smoke acid made cig­a­rettes more car­cino­genic, ac­cord­ing to Dutch re­search in 2006. As a cig­a­rette burns down, the acid­ity in­creases, re­duc­ing nico­tine, so smok­ers suck harder at the point when the tar and car­cino­gen con­tent is high­est.

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