New York Times
When a truck recently delivered 45,000 cartons of cigarettes to a research company in North Carolina, it was a turning point in the government’s war on smoking.
These were no ordinary cigarettes, but experimental ones, made of genetically altered tobacco to lower the nicotine content by 97 percent while preserving all the other tastes and smells and rituals for smokers of conventional cigarettes.
Researchers had been seeking a new and bigger supply because shortages had limited previous studies to just dozens of people. The experimental cigarettes are produced by a Massachusetts company, the 22nd Century Group, which holds 98 patents for genetic manipulation of tobacco plants to reduce or increase the amount of nicotine in cigarettes.