Members of the Kentucky Tobacco Research Board are considering potential future uses for burley and dark leaf tobacco grown in the bluegrass state. Discussion at Monday’s meeting addressed proposed FDA regulation of nicotine levels in tobacco products.
Staff with the Kentucky Tobacco Research and Development Center are reviewing ways of lowering nicotine levels in cigarettes. The board discussion also covered heat-not-burn tobacco products.
With this technology, a small amount of tobacco is warmed in an oral device, but not lit. Tobacco Research Board member Hoppy Henton says more of an effort to encourage its use in the U.S. would affect tobacco production.
“The problem for traditional tobacco producers in the Carolinas, Kentucky and Tennessee is that they don’t need very much tobacco to fit into the system,” Henton said.
Henton, a former USDA official, says this would mean producing tobacco in Kentucky on fewer farms and fewer acres. He says the effort may turn to producing a specialized tobacco product.