Reduction of Ammonia in Tobacco

Yesmoke does not add ammonia and it makes every effort to reduce the ammonia naturally present in tobacco. Burley tobacco is determining for the taste of cigarettes, but it also contains considerable amounts of natural ammonia.

Burley casing replaces sugars lost during air-curing and restores the sugar/nitrogen ratio. During toasting sugars react with ammonia to form amino-sugar compounds that contribute to the desirable sought-after flavor development.

If tobacco is treated with ammonia gas, ammonium bi-carbonate, ammonium carbonate or ammonium hydroxide, the ammonia gas or ammonium ion will react with the nicotine salts to release “free” nicotine.

Ammonia can speed the delivery of “free” or unbound nicotine to smokers by raising the pH (alkalinity) of tobacco smoke using additives. This causes the smoker to “free-base” the drug – much as a crack-user takes cocaine. Dr. Jack E. Henningfield of the John Hopkins University School of Medicine explains the action of ammonia thus:

“A third thing that ammonia-like compounds can do is increase the pH, increase the amount of free base nicotine, or what Dr Rickert earlier referred to as unprotonated nicotine… The free-based form of cocaine or the free based form of nicotine is more rapidly absorbed, has a more explosive effect on the nervous system. ammonia is one of the ways that you can provide free-based cocaine or free-based nicotine.”

Dr. Jack E. Henningfield of the John Hopkins University School of Medicine

Yesmoke production, however, heads in the opposite direction: the Burley tobacco in “Yesmoke” cigarettes is toasted at a temperature of 132° and humidity at 6%, for a period of 10 minutes.

This process frees ammonia and gives a cigarette with a minimum level of natural ammonia, which is as low as it is possible to reach. This ammonia reduction also reduces the “organoleptic effect” and, more important, makes the product less addictive.

Yesmokes compensates for the reduction of ammonia with the use of first-class tobaccos in the make-up of the blend.

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