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September 10 2012

The tobacco industry has spent millions in pursuit of its Holy Grail – the cancer-free cigarette

There exists, in some lawyer’s vault, somewhere in the United States, a secret memo that was authored by a tobacco company executive back in 1955. Written in the exclamatory patois of the time, it says, “Boy! Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our company was first to produce a cancer-free cigarette. What we could do to the competition.”

Just imagine it: a safe cigarette. One that doesn’t kill by causing cancer, or the diseases of the heart and lungs. One that can be consumed with pleasure to the smoker, benefit to the treasury and profit to the tobacco giants. To all the interested parties, this would indeed be the most tremendous invention. Ever since the most serious perils of smoking became suspected by scientists, back in the early Fifties, many hundreds of millions of pounds have been spent pursuing the impossible dream.

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