Information about the Effects & Risks of Smoking:

Tobacco

Mainstream cigarette tobacco is derived from two main types of leaves. ‘Burley’ tobacco comes with 3.5 to 4 percent nicotine content and ‘Virginia’ tobacco has about 2.5 to 3 percent. Some cigarettes also come with blended tobacco and these could have as much as 10 percent of ‘Oriental’ tobacco which has less than 2 percent nicotine content. Additionally, cigarettes have fillers that are made using the by-products which result from the whole process of manufacturing cigarettes. The fillers comprise of by-products derived during the processing stage, various additives and flavourings, water, etc. The by-products comprise of:

1. Blended leaf sheets, which are made from dry tobacco dust paste, pectin, and stems of burley leaves that have been milled finely.
2. Improved or expanded stems, which are shredded stems that have first been rolled and flattened. Improved stems are steamed as opposed to being rapidly heated after being soaked as is the case with the expanded stems variant. Both these products differ in taste although they do look alike.
3. Reconstituted leaf sheets, which are made using recycled fine tobacco particles, stems, as well as other tobacco particulate that is collected during the processing stage. These sheets are made by first extracting chemicals from the by-products, then making sheets from the leftover fibre, then reapplying the extracted chemicals onto these sheets, and finally breaking it up into usable tobacco.
4. Expanded tobacco refers to whole tobacco which has been treated using supercritical CO2, which makes the tobacco puff up, and this is the kind of tobacco one can expect to find in ‘light’ cigarettes.

Bear in mind that the usage of these by-products does vary from brand to brand.

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