The main component of our cigarettes is tobacco. In addition to tobacco, we add ingredients to many of our brands. The use of ingredients depends on the cigarette style. The most common types of cigarettes smoked around the world are blended cigarettes and Virginia (or “flue cured”) cigarettes. Broadly, each style accounts for half of the world’s consumption of cigarettes.
Virginia cigarettes use only Virginia tobacco and typically no or very few ingredients are used. Blended cigarettes are made from a blend of Virginia, burley and oriental tobaccos to which ingredients are added during tobacco processing. We add ingredients to our brands to (1) keep the tobacco moist, (2) help facilitate the manufacturing process, (3) replenish natural sugars lost during the leaf curing process and (4) contribute to the overall tobacco taste of the cigarette as well as create the unique taste characteristic of each of our brands. We also use non-tobacco materials (e.g., cigarette paper and filters), which themselves contain ingredients.
With or without ingredients, all tobacco products cause serious diseases and are addictive. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cigarettes without ingredients have “never been demonstrated to be less dangerous or addictive than … cigarettes [with additives].”
The data, including our internal testing and the data in the marketplace, show that the ingredients we use do not increase the harmful effects of smoking. As the WHO has said, there is no basis to believe that cigarettes sold without ingredients are less harmful or less addictive than cigarettes sold with ingredients. The prevalence of smoking, cessation rates, and rates of smoking-related diseases are generally the same in countries where most consumers smoke traditional blended cigarettes as in countries where most consumers smoke Virginia cigarettes. The EU’s Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR) concluded that “The available data do not allow drawing any conclusion on the overall effect of additives on the use of tobacco products. The prevalence of smoking (i.e. the number of smokers) is stable or in decline in most EU Member States.”
The important point is that smoking causes serious diseases and is addictive, whether ingredients are used or not.
We do not use ingredients to enhance the addictiveness of our cigarette brands. Scientific and public health organizations, such as the WHO, the U.S. Surgeon General, and the U.K. Royal College of Physicians, have concluded that nicotine is the addictive component in tobacco. Cigarettes are addictive with or without ingredients.