Personally, I'm a bit more concerned about the new strain of super high nicotine tobacco. Here's a bit about it from the LA Times;
SANTA CRUZ DO SUL, Brazil — Freakish tobacco plants that explode from the soil in this remote river valley grow huge leaves on stalks as thick as Louisville Sluggers. The growers here call it fumo louco.
Crazy not just because it grows so big and so fast. Crazy because it has been genetically altered by one of the world's largest tobacco companies to pack twice the nicotine of other commercially grown leaf.
The farmers of Brazil's southernmost state are growing it by the ton for the world market, Associated Press has found, though it could not be learned for certain which countries are importing the nicotine-rich leaf.
Fumo louco--the farmers' generic term for several related strains of high-nicotine tobacco--is the offspring of a genetically altered plant created in U.S. laboratories for Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., the third largest U.S. cigarette maker. The seed was secretly shipped to Brazil in violation of U.S. export law.
Over the last year, AP has observed its cultivation and harvest on small farms all over the state of Rio Grande do Sul, from Paulo Berganthal's 10-acre, table-flat plantation to Neury de Oliveira's 20 mist-shrouded acres in the high country.
Some of these varieties are so high in nicotine that smokers might get sick smoking them in their pure form, but they can be blended with cheaper, weaker tobaccos to make cigarettes with nicotine levels that satisfy smokers.
Fumo louco blends give cigarette makers a new tool for adjusting nicotine levels in their products. They may also provide the U.S. Food and Drug Administration with a new argument for the assertion that the tobacco industry intentionally manipulates nicotine levels to "hook" smokers. At stake is the question of whether the FDA should have the power to regulate nicotine as a drug.
The FDA has been aware that a high-nicotine tobacco had been developed but did not know that it is being cultivated in large commercial quantities, said Mitch Zeller, an FDA deputy associate commissioner.
However, 18 Brazilian farmers openly acknowledged that they are growing the high-nicotine leaf by the ton, and many said they have been growing it for more than 5 years.
"It's weird stuff," Oliveira said in his native Portuguese. The nicotine content is so high that "just the crazy smell of it gets you dizzy. But sir, it comes up like nothing you've ever seen."
Farmers estimated that half of the about 40,000 acres under tobacco cultivation in the region are devoted to the high-nicotine leaf. That means an area about 1 1/2 times the size of the island of Manhattan is covered in fumo louco.
The farmers said they sell their high-nicotine tobacco to Souza Cruz, a Brazilian company owned by B.A.T. Industries, the same British conglomerate that controls Brown & Williamson.
Souza Cruz did not respond to questions. Brown & Williamson spokesman Mark Smith said that "it would be inappropriate for us to comment" because of pending government investigations. The U.S. Justice Department has convened grand juries in Washington and New York State to investigate whether tobacco companies and their officials lied to the government about manipulating nicotine levels in their products.
After farmers sell their fumo louco to Souza Cruz, it goes to the company's processing plant in Santa Cruz do Sul. Souza Cruz boasts it is the world's biggest. About a third of the tobacco processed at the plant is high-nicotine leaf, said Louis Radaelli, a company genetics researcher, and several former Souza Cruz technical experts.
Once the leaf enters the plant, it is difficult to learn where it goes. Souza Cruz mixes it with other tobaccos to form some of its blends, and the recipes are trade secrets.
Souza Cruz is among the world's biggest exporters of tobacco, and about a fifth of its production goes to cigarette makers in the United States. Britain, Japan and Germany are also major customers. The company does not use high-nicotine leaf in cigarettes marketed in Brazil, but declined to explain why.
The FDA learned in 1994 that Brown & Williamson had developed a nicotine-rich plant code-named Y-1 and that limited quantities had been grown in Brazil in the early 1990s. Some of it was imported by Brown & Williamson, which used it as an ingredient in five cigarette brands sold in the United States in 1993 and 1994.
Although this was legal, the FDA was concerned enough about the implications to disclose its findings to Congress in July 1994. Brown & Williamson executives responded by assuring the agency that they had dropped the project and stopped using Y-1 in their Raleigh Lights, Richland Lights King Size, Viceroy King Size, Viceroy Lights King Size and Richland King Size cigarettes.
That appeared to be the end of the story. It wasn't.
The AP has learned:
* Y-1 cultivation began in Brazil in 1983--years earlier than the FDA realized.
link to the rest of the article; https://articles.latimes.com/1997/dec/21/news/mn-930