The process of blending gives the end product a consistent taste from batches of tobacco grown in different areas of a country that may change in flavor profile from year to year due to different environmental conditions. 62

Modern cigarettes produced after the 1950s, although composed mainly of shredded tobacco leaf, use a significant quantity of tobacco processing by products in the blend. Each cigarette’s tobacco blend is made mainly from the leaves of flue cured brightleaf, burley tobacco, and oriental tobacco. These leaves are selected, processed, and aged prior to blending and filling. The processing of brightleaf and burley tobaccos for tobacco leaf “strips” produces several by products such as leaf stems, tobacco dust, and tobacco leaf pieces (“small laminate”). 62 To improve the economics of producing cigarettes, these by products are processed separately into forms where they can then be possibly added back into the cigarette blend without an apparent or marked change in the cigarette’s quality. The most common tobacco by products include

  • Blended leaf (BL) sheet a thin, dry sheet cast from a paste made with tobacco dust collected from tobacco stemming, finely milled burley leaf stem, and pectin. 63
  • Reconstituted leaf (RL) sheet a paper like material made from recycled tobacco fines, tobacco stems and “class tobacco”, which consists of tobacco particles less than 30 mesh in size ( 0.599 mm) that are collected at any stage of tobacco processing. 64 RL is made by extracting the soluble chemicals in the tobacco by products, processing the leftover tobacco fibers from the extraction into a paper, and then reapplying the extracted materials in concentrated form onto the paper in a fashion similar to what is done in paper sizing. At this stage ammonium additives are applied to make reconstituted tobacco an effective nicotine delivery system. 2
  • Expanded (ES) or improved stems (IS) ES are rolled, flattened, and shredded leaf stems that are expanded by being soaked in water and rapidly heated. Improved stems follow the same process but are simply steamed after shredding. Both products are then dried. These two products look similar in appearance but are different in taste. 62

In recent years, the manufacturers’ pursuit of maximum profits has led to the practice of using not just the leaves, but also recycled tobacco offal 2 and the plant stem. 65 The stem is first crushed and cut to resemble the leaf before being merged or blended into the cut leaf. 66 According to data from the World Health Organization, 67 the amount of tobacco per 1000 cigarettes fell from 2.28 pounds in 1960 to 0.91 pounds in 1999, largely as a result of reconstituting tobacco, fluffing and additives.

A recipe specified combination of brightleaf, burley leaf and oriental leaf tobacco will be mixed with various additives to improve its flavours.


Various additives are combined into the shredded tobacco product mixtures, with humectants such as propylene glycol or glycerol, as well as flavouring products and enhancers such as cocoa solids, licorice, tobacco extracts, and various sugars, which are known collectively as “casings”. The leaf tobacco will then be shredded, along with a specified amount of small laminate, expanded tobacco, BL, RL, ES and IS. A perfume like flavour/fragrance, called the “topping” or “toppings”, which is most often formulated by flavor companies, will then be blended into the tobacco mixture to improve the consistency in flavour and taste of the cigarettes associated with a certain brand name. 62 Additionally, they replace lost flavours due to the repeated wetting and drying used in processing the tobacco. Finally the tobacco mixture will be filled into cigarettes tubes and packaged.

A list of 599 cigarette additives, created by five major American cigarette companies, was approved by the Department of Health and Human Services in April 1994. None of these additives is listed as an ingredient on the cigarette pack(s). Chemicals are added for organoleptic purposes and many boost the addictive properties of cigarettes, especially when burned. citation needed

One of the chemicals on the list, ammonia, helps convert bound nicotine molecules in tobacco smoke into free nicotine molecules. This process is known as freebasing which enhances the effect of the nicotine on the smoker. citation needed

Cigarette butt

How much nicotine do we get from e-cigarettes? – ecf infozone

Cheap cigarettes online video dailymotion
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On May 15, 2013, the Joint Committee on Taxation gave a Do Not Pass Recommendation to HP 950. The bill is no longer a substantial threat, but action from Maine vapers is still important to ensure it is not brought back.

Maine is the subject of a CASAA Call To Action as of April 23rd 2013. n

If enacted, this bill would n


  1. Tax electronic cigarettes by redefining “tobacco products ” under Maine tax law to include “products containing, made or derived from tobacco that are intended for human consumption by any means, or any components, parts or accessories of tobacco products. ” n
  2. Impose a wholesale tax on all smoke free products (including e cigarettes) that will be equivalent to the tax on a pack of cigarettes (currently $2.00). The Maine State Tax Assessor will be given the power to decide how this tax would be applied to e cigarette disposables, liquid, mods, cartomizers, atomizers, batteries, etc. n
  3. Make it a crime punishable by up to 6 months in prison and a $1,000 fine for a Maine citizen to import more than one pound of e cigarette products (see Title 36, 4404 A) n
  4. Require e cigarette vendors to obtain a tobacco retail license to sell e cigarettes (see Title 36, 4402) n
  5. Make it a crime punishable by up to 6 months in prison and a $1,000 fine for a Maine e cigarette vendor to sell products to any retailer who does not hold a Maine retail tobacco license. (see Title 36, 4404 B) n
  6. Give law enforcement authorities the authority to seize e cigarette products from citizens if they believe it to be contraband (i.e., it was obtained without paying the Maine tax). (see Title 36, 4404 B) n n

    HB 950 has been referred to the Committee on Taxation, which is comprised of members of both the Maine Senate and House. No hearing has been scheduled. If you can attend the hearing or are in Maine and would like to offer your assistance in stopping this bill, please e mail board


    This bill will cause all tobacco products to be taxed at the same rate as cigarettes n

    Item 7B (as it stands on April 3rd, 2013) which defines smokeless tobacco products will almost certainly include electronic cigarettes in this legislation. n

    See also this ECF thread for a discussion of the issue. n



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