Star Scientific patent claims approved for new curing method

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Star Scientific Inc. has received approval from the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office for patent claims for a tobacco curing method that is designed to reduce carcinogens in smokeless tobacco products.

The process is designed to reduce the levels of TSNA (tobacco-specific nitrosamine) in tobacco by subjecting it to a controlled environment while a majority of the leaf is in a green, uncured state.

“The new tobacco curing technology developed by [Star Scientific CEO Jonnie] Williams now makes it possible to reduce the levels of a class of known carcinogenic toxins in cured tobacco to nearly undetectable levels.  We believe that the 2009 Tobacco Control Act requirement that tobacco companies list the harmful constituents in their products, when implemented, may encourage those companies to reduce toxins where the technology for those reductions is available,” Star Scientific chairman, president chief operating officer Paul L. Perito said in a statement.

The company said it believes the curing tobacco method is especially well-suited for smokeless tobacco products.

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