Fire-cured under threat

| January 10, 2018

In the most-recent issue of his Tobacco Farmer Newsletter, Christopher Bickers poses the question: Could fire-cured tobacco production be on the way to extinction?

This question will ring a bell for anybody who attended the sixth break-out session on the first day of the 2017 Global Tobacco and Nicotine Forum (GTNF), which was staged by Tobacco Reporter in New York in September.

Bickers noted that dark fire-cured tobacco was facing a serious potential challenge from a proposal made by the Food and Drug Administration to limit levels of NNN, a tobacco-specific nitrosamine (TSNA), to no more than 1 ppm in finished smokeless tobacco products.

Although several production practices might influence NNN accumulation, Bickers wrote, the biggest factor by far was the weather during the curing season.

This was one of the points made at the GTNF – that, to a certain extent, some of the factors that influenced TSNA levels were beyond the control of the farmer.

Bickers’ piece includes some tips on the steps that a farmer can take to produce a crop that is as low in TSNAs as possible.

More information is available from Bickers at + 1 919-789-4631 or chrisbickers@gmail.com.

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