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Urea in cigarettes 

Jump to full article: Doc-Alert (Smokefree.net), 2001-11-10
Author: Anne Landman, Tobacco Document Research Specialist

Intro:

On Friday, November 9 the Lorillard Tobacco Company issued a press release taking exception to a new American Legacy Foundation advertisement that accused Lorillard of adding urea, a major component of urine, to their cigarettes. The ad further suggested that the company uses dog urine in the manufacturing process. In the press release, Lorillard Vice President of External Affairs Steve Watson denied that the company uses urea as an additive in its cigarettes. He said that "urea is a compound that naturally occurs in the tobacco leaf, as well as in mushrooms and many baked goods, Lorillard does not and never has added it to its cigarettes."

Today's document is a 1989 Lorillard Tobacco internal memorandum entitled Project B-451, "Urea."

The first paragraph of the Lorillard memo states :

    "This memorandum summarizes experiments conducted using Urea as a tobacco additive, for the reduction of benz[a]pyrene and formaldehyde. Three major guidelines were adopted to aid in successful completion of this project. These guidelines are that the product would be smoked in a conventional manner, burn tobacco, and have an acceptable taste."

The memo continues on to say that Lorillard developed an experimental cigarette blend and construction that would "hopefully evolve into a less biologically active cigarette." The memo further states, "This [experimental] cigarette would have (1) a blend with mostly Urea treated, expanded, flue-cured tobacco."

The memo concludes by saying

    "Urea is believed to be an important [cigarette] additive for three reasons, it reduces benz[a]pyrene, it greatly reduced formaldehyde, and it improves the taste."

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Quotes from this article:

This memorandum summarizes experiments conducted using Urea as a tobacco additive, for the reduction of benz[a]pyrene and formaldehyde. . . Urea is believed to be an important additive for three reasons, it reduces benz[a]pyrene, it greatly reduced formaldehyde, and it improves the taste.
Lorillard's 1989 "Project B-451, 'Urea.'" casts a curious light on the company's protest of the recent "truth" ads. Landman, A.