Pin It

More free nicotine means higher “Impact”

Once the relationship between pH, free nicotine and nicotine ‘impact’ was established, it became a research objective.

“The purpose of this project is to develop a method for increasing the smoke pH of a cigarette. A low smoke solids, low nicotine cigarette with an increased smoke pH would then have relatively more free nicotine in its smoke, and consequently, a higher nicotine impact.” – Liggett, 1974

Changing the chemical form of nicotine increases the ‘Kick’

In a paper entitled “Cigarette concept to assure RJR a larger segment of the youth market’” – RJ Reynolds talk about the “Kick” of nicotine:

“Still with an old style filter, any desired additional nicotine kick could be easily obtained through pH regulation.” – RJR, 1973

“The pH also relates to the immediacy of the nicotine impact. As the pH increases, the nicotine changes its chemical form so that it is more rapidly absorbed by the body and more quickly gives a kick to the smoker.” – RJR, 1976

“When a cigarette is smoked, nicotine is released momentarily in the free-form. In this form, nicotine is more readily absorbed through the body tissue. Hence it is the free nicotine which is associated with IMPACT, i.e. The higher the free nicotine, the higher the IMPACT.” – BAT, 1988 L&M cigarettes

Making nicotine more potent

“Increasing the pH of a medium in which nicotine is delivered increases the physiological effect of the nicotine by increasing the ratio of free base to acid salt form, the free base form being more readily transported across physiological membranes. We are pursuing this project with the eventual goal of lowering the total nicotine present in smoke while increasing the physiological effect of the nicotine which is present, so that no physiological effect is lost on nicotine reduction.” – Liggett, 1971

Free nicotine fraction increases ‘physiological strength

“Since the unbound nicotine is very much more active physiologically and much faster acting than the bound nicotine, the smoke at a high pH seems to be strong nicotine. Therefore, the amount of free nicotine in the smoke may be used for at least a partial measure of the physiological strength of the cigarette.” – RJR, 1973

Nicotine transfer increased as a result of ammonia treatment

According to BAT, the addition of ammonia was a technical option to enhance nicotine transfer:

“The results show that ammonia treatment caused a general increase in the delivery of bases including a 29% increase in nicotine. This result, despite the decrease in nicotine content and a 10% drop in the weight of tobacco burnt in puffing, is only partly due to a small decrease in nicotine filtration. In other words, the nicotine transfer has increased as a result of ammonia treatment…” – BAT, 1965

Additives to increase nicotine “Kick”

Ammonia can be used to increase the alkalinity of smoke and increase the amount of nicotine in the free form rather than in the bound form of nicotine salts. RJ Reynolds explains:

“In essence, a cigarette is a system for delivery of nicotine to the smoker in attractive, useful form. At normal smoke pH, at or below about 6.0, essentially all of the smoke nicotine is chemically combined with acidic substance hence is non-volatile and relatively slowly absorbed by the smoker. As the smoke pH increases above about 6.0, an increasing proportion of the total smoke nicotine occurs in free form, which is volatile, rapidly absorbed by the smoker, and believed to be instantly perceived as nicotine kick.” – RJR, 1973

Concealing The Nicotine by Increasing The Vapour Phase

How Big Tobacco messes your government up

Ammonia helps cheat the federal test for levels of tar and nicotine. The exploitation of ‘freè nicotine and its enhanced effects helped cigarette companies cheat the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) machine measurements of tar and nicotine levels.

Using additive technology they were able to build cigarettes which registered low tar readings on the machine but delivered high levels of nicotine to the smoker.

“If the desired goal is defined to be increased nicotine yield in the delivered smoke there appear to be only two alternatives: either increase the absolute yield of delivered nicotine, or increase the pH, which increases the ‘apparent’ nicotine content without changing the absolute amount.” – Lorillard, 1976

Comments are closed.