Organic Tobacco Is Safer Tobacco & Here’s Why

To make the case for why USDA certified organic pesticide-free tobacco is a safer smoke, and much less likely to cause ‘smoking-related disease’ compared with commercial pesticide-contaminated tobacco, especially when it’s smoked or vaped in moderation, I would like to share some new hard data and in-depth peer-reviewed science with you.

I would like to show you why the indisputable dangers of cigarette smoking are very likely unrelated to any hazards that may exist from smoking pure tobacco. While anyone can recognize the clear difference between inhaling the smoke of pesticide-free, organic tobacco, and inhaling the smoke of tobacco contaminated with a toxic fusion of multiple insecticides and fungicides, that difference has never once been studied in any public or private research on smoking and health.

I have some solid new data and strong published research to share with you that may fill in that strange gap in the information we’ve all been fed about smoking and health for generations.

The data below are from tests performed by a top licensed Oregon Cannabis lab, with corporate EU experience in tobacco substrate pesticide analysis, as research for my book Smoke No Evil. These neurotoxins and endocrine disruptors are what was found in just the five brands I was able to afford to test. The data in red designate pesticides we found only in Swisher Sweets, contaminants that make it a particularly dangerous smoke not just for neurotoxicity but for inflicting trans-generational genetic damage. You’ll find links to the published science supporting this assessment throughout this post.

In a first since the mid-1970s, a government agency somewhere in the world has finally published hard data documenting cigarette pesticides, and I’m happy to see how well their data overlaps my own test data from 4 years earlier.

Here are the pesticides and heavy metals detected in cigarettes by Saudi Health Ministry tests in 2021-22.

This is a link to the 2022 Saudi article with full data in the supplemental tables.

So, that’s the first such officially published data since the mid-1970s. Don’t you agree that it’s very strange that no similar data on pesticide contamination of cigarettes has appeared in any other published government or private research for the past 50+ years? When you consider the billions spent on smoking and health, isn’t it odd that there hasn’t been even one study of the presence and health impact of pesticides in cigarettes?

Even more curious, since widespread pesticide use in agriculture began, every Federal agency involved has known that millions of smokers in every generation have been inhaling these pesticides daily, including pregnant women smokers, and yet there is not one mention of pesticides in any of the government propaganda campaigns on the dangers of smoking.

This total lack of published research data on pesticides in cigarettes and other tobacco products can’t be because of any lack of awareness among doctors and scientists regarding the dangers of pesticide exposure. There is extensive research on the health consequences of pesticide exposure, though it is almost always framed in the context of occupational or accidental exposure.

Whatever the reasons, there has never once been a study comparing the health effects of smoking tobacco without pesticide contaminants – in other words, organic tobacco – with the health effects of smoking tobacco cigarettes contaminated with multiple classes of hazardous pesticides. The health impact of even accidentally inhaled pesticides is barely considered even during the supposedly rigorous EPA registration process.

Pesticide hazard information for inhalation exposure is never obtained using exposure regimens even remotely resembling the cigarette smoking scenario during new pesticide registration by EPA.

Since the only way people continually inhale pesticides is by smoking and vaping Tobacco and Cannabis it looks like the health of these millions of people officially doesn’t matter.

Here is a summary of the known neurological impacts of pesticide exposure by dermal absorption and oral ingestion – although not by inhalation. There are similarly severe impacts of pesticide exposure on the endocrine and cardiovascular systems, and on the developing child. But, given just these rather dramatic known neurological consequences of non-inhalation routes of exposure, wouldn’t it make sense to investigate the consequences of inhalation exposure to vaporized clouds of insecticides and fungicides in those 100+ puffs a day an average smoker takes? And if that does make sense, where is the research?

Neurotoxicity of pesticides in the context of CNS chronic diseases”

“Pesticide-induced neurotoxicity can be defined in different categories of neurological disorders including neurodegenerative (Alzheimer, Parkinson, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis), neurodevelopmental (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorders, developmental delay, and intellectual disability), neurobehavioral and neuropsychiatric (depression/suicide attempt, anxiety/insomnia, and cognitive impairment) disorders some of which are among the most debilitating human health problems.” 

When they are studied at all during EPA registration, which is almost never, the consequences of pesticide exposure by inhalation are studied with lab animals, using mammals like rats and mice, and then never again thereafter.

And these very few inhalation studies look only for acute toxicity – lethal poisoning – not the consequences of chronic, low-level exposure that occurs almost exclusively in smoking cigarettes. The health consequences of chronic daily human exposure to pesticides through inhalation by cigarette smoking have never once been the focus of any published government or corporate research. Not once in 50+ years of Surgeon General’s Reports on “Smoking and Health”, not once in any “Truth Initiative” or “Smoke-Free Kids” propaganda. The dozens of pesticides being inhaled daily by 40 million people smoking cigarettes are never mentioned, not once, in those “7000 chemicals” lists that anti-smoking organizations and agencies love to refer to.

You can prove this for yourself. You can search the US Surgeon General’s reports the last 50 years on smoking and health. Open any of these docs online, do control-F and search for “pesticide”. Simple, right? If you check every report you’ll find the word ‘pesticide’ mentioned five times in 50 years, and then only incidentally. Yet the US Surgeon General and every other US agency knows that cigarettes have been heavily contaminated with pesticides since the 1950s. In succession, and in combination, smokers have been inhaling a toxic fusion of organochlorines, organophosphates, carbamates, pyrethrins and neonicotinoids for generations.

Between the 1950s and the 1970s there was plenty of government and university research on pesticides contaminants of tobacco products. There was mainly concern about taste and smell problems associated with the organochlorine pesticides in particular, but there was even a little concern around health. Then it all stopped, rather mysteriously. You can browse examples of the surviving tobacco/cigarette pesticide research on DDT and other organochlorine pesticides in cigarettes that virtually ended in the 1970s here and  here and here and here and here.

There’s growing awareness of the role that environmental chemicals are playing in our health. Despite massive corporate and agency efforts to suppress the bad news on environmental exposure to neurochemicals and endocrine disruptors, people are beginning to suspect that the epidemics of neurological and endocrinological and metabolic diseases arise from our universal exposure to chemicals in the environment. Unfortunately few if any in the environmental activism communities seem to be aware that every smoker, and everyone exposed to their smoke, is being exposed to pesticides by the most harmful route of exposure possible.

Environmental pesticide activists are right to focus on harm to creatures like bees and fish, and on exposure scenarios like agricultural drift and forest spraying, and on food and water contamination, but for some reason activists so far seem to have little interest in these pesticides being continuously inhaled by smokers and their children including, unfortunately, all but organic Cannabis smokers and vapers. Although every one of the pesticides you see in the data above are being inhaled daily by hundreds of millions of smokers worldwide every day, environmental thought leaders like Beyond Pesticides that cover the health impact of pesticides never mention exposure by smoking tobacco in any of their reporting. They are very concerned about Cannabis smokers inhaling pesticides, but not a word on behalf Tobacco smokers.

I believe that many sincere people who would otherwise be horrified at the consequences of mass daily exposure to pesticides are so repelled by “tobacco’ and “smoking” at a subconscious (and deliberately programmed) level that it is impossible to frame the idea that it may be inhaled pesticides and not tobacco itself that is creating the massive human damage and exploitation they see from smoking.

You can check out the science behind the impact of inhaled pesticides for yourself anytime simply by searching “pesticide” along with virtually any major ‘smoking-related’ disease. Search for ‘pesticide’ and “diabetes”, or “obesity”, or “Alzheimer’s” or “stroke”, or” ADHD”, or “cognitive”, or “metabolic”, or “heart disease” or “ALS”, or “sexual dysfunction”, or “neurological”, or “fetal development”. And of course there’s “cancer” – try ‘pesticide’ and “lung cancer”, or “breast cancer”, or “testicular cancer” – all strongly associated with or caused by pesticide exposure.

However, keep in mind that as powerful as all these associations are, none of the pesticides being inhaled by smokers have ever been tested for their health impact by smoking, much less by any other kind of inhalation. All these documented pesticide exposure health impacts come from the much less toxic routes of dermal exposure and oral ingestion – whereas inhalation is known to be far more a more hazardous route of exposure. Could it be that since the only group of people in the world who are exposed this way are smokers, who cares about them inhaling pesticides?

Because, of course, ‘everybody knows’ that smoking tobacco is what’s killing them – right?

“EPA does not assess the additional risk of either intermediate- or long- term exposure to pesticide residues in smoke because of the severity and quantity of health effects associated with the use of tobacco products themselves.

“In addition, the agency does not include short-, intermediate-, or long- term exposure to residues on tobacco in its assessments of total exposures to the pesticides. Officials and experts with whom we spoke generally agreed that pesticide residues on tobacco could incrementally increase health risks, though some also said the known harm from using tobacco products dwarfs any potential effect from exposure to pesticide residues in the smoke.”


Get that? The “known harm” from using Tobacco products – not from smoking Tobacco. Everybody knows, right?

Here’s another way to look at the data that I found in the “Smoke No Evil” lab tests of 2018/19 – check out just the fungicide contaminants, not the insecticides, that we identified in those tests. Fungicides operate in completely different ways than insecticides and pose a severe threat to our lung & gut mycobiome along with their impact on our neurological and endocrine systems.

Notice that the American Spirit organic cigarette brand we tested was USDA organic, and showed no detectable residues, whereas the ‘natural tobacco’ American Spirit cigarette was contaminated with pesticides, though certainly fewer than the other commercial brands we tested. That’s an important point for health-conscious smokers – just because a cigarette brand is labelled “natural” doesn’t mean that it’s ‘organic’ and therefore free of pesticides. Take it from the guy who invented that particular little word game.

Pesticides detected in research for “Smoke No Evil” 2018/19

I hope this data clearly shows the hypocrisy of the too-clever bullshit from self-serving agencies like FDA and from anti-smoking hustlers like Truth Initiative claiming that organic, pesticide-free cigarettes aren’t safer than regular commercial cigarettes because all “tobacco” is equally hazardous. Besides being obvious bullshit that’s either a deliberate lie or gross ignorance. They either actually know nothing about the tobacco industry, although they claim to be unimpeachable experts, or else they do know about the true nature of the health consequences of even the lowest levels of inhaled exposure to these highly bioactive xenobiotic chemicals and they are co-conspirators in this global atrocity.

“Our research shows that a majority of Natural American Spirit smokers incorrectly believe that their cigarettes are safer than other cigarettes,” said Robin Korval, CEO and president of Truth Initiative. “The truth is they are just as dangerous as any other cigarette.”

Sorry Robin. Hard data and solid peer-reviewed science say you’re wrong, and I say you’re almost certainly lying.

This post and much of my work is about documenting and showing readers the evidence that the latter is tragically true: US regulatory agencies and the anti-smoking establishment have been corrupted to the core by the Tobacco Cartel

If around now you’re thinking “Well, some of those pesticides look pretty bad but those concentrations look awfully low to do any damage to smokers”, that would be correct with older generations of pesticides where dose mattered and you had to spray a lot of pesticide on a field to be effective. No longer, because today’s pesticides are carefully designed to target biological systems at the molecular and genetic levels.

The new generations of these chemicals are crafted by teams of organic chemists with endless resources and equipment to be cost-effectively bioactive in nerves, tissues, organs and other biological systems at molecular levels, and their combined effects are more than just additive when that exposure is chronic and to mixtures, or “cocktails’, of these carefully designed chemicals – like in smoking. Actually, only in smoking. Tobacco and Cannabis – the only two ways that people are chronically exposed to pesticides by inhalation.

“Toxic effects of pesticide mixtures at a molecular level: their relevance to human health”

In other posts I’ve tracked this remarkable disappearance of research on cigarette pesticide contaminants to a global effort by the Tobacco Cartel to erase the topic of pesticide residues in tobacco products from public awareness. From the early 1950s through the early 1970s there was extensive research on the topic of pesticides in tobacco products in multiple scientific/agricultural/chemical journals, every study revealing concentrations of organochlorine and then organophosphorous pesticides in every tobacco product studied.

Here’s a table from one of the last published studies on pesticide residues in commercial cigarette brands, with index entries referring to previous studies as far back as 1959. The researchers here were only looking for these four contaminants. The data only hint at the massive organochlorine residues that existed in cigarettes of the 50s and 60s.

However, as medical science on these neurotoxic, carcinogenic chemicals advanced, the industry understood that these heavily contaminated products, already coming under a lot of negative anti-smoking pressure, would very likely attract horrified attention and be banned if they were brought under proposed environmental and agricultural pesticide regulations unless they took control of any research that could lead to such regulation, and so they did. They managed to shut it all down, worldwide.

Again, you can browse examples of the surviving tobacco/cigarette pesticide research on DDT and other organochlorine pesticides in cigarettes that virtually ended in the 1970s here  and  here  and here  and here and here. You can see from the reference sections of these journal articles that from 1950-1975 there were entire journals devoted to researching pesticide residues in cigarettes and tobacco products. Then it stopped.

During these same years the Tobacco Cartel successfully maneuvered and manipulated Congress and the agencies to get tobacco products exempted from pesticide inspection, regulation or even tracking by any government agency. To this day, no agency inspects or regulates tobacco products for pesticides, and in the regulations of every agency dealing in any way with hazardous or toxic substances, from EPA to CPSC to FDA, tobacco products are specifically exempted. It took a lot of satanic lawyering and political corruption to get every single piece of regulatory exemption in place but that’s how the Cartel rolls.

There’s a lot more to the story of WHY switching to organic tobacco to eliminate pesticides in your smoke is an imperative.

Look briefly at Cannabis. We know that state regulators are hard on the case of pesticide contamination with Cannabis, right? There’s plenty of pesticide residue research on Cannabis, and plenty of strictly enforced regulations. California Cannabis growers spend roughly 15% of their gross revenues on pesticide compliance costs.

Unfortunately, the pesticide standards for Cannabis set by California and other states are based exclusively on Federal standards, which are not based on inhalation studies and only consider acute toxicity levels of skin contact or ingestion, and never the neurological, endocrinological, metabolic or other health consequences of chronic low dose pesticide inhalation

This means that millions of Cannabis smokers who think they are being protected by state regulations on pesticides are being actively deceived by the regulators, who fully understand and fail to disclose the fact that none of the pesticide residue standards they are applying to Cannabis growers have ever been set for inhaled pesticides, only for skin and gut exposure.

But given the regulatory hammering on having supposed safe levels of pesticides in Cannabis, on what you would think would be a closely-related, naturally hot regulatory topic, toxic pesticide residues on those nasty old tobacco cigarettes that we’ve all been well-trained to hate, there’s not a peep since the mid-70s. You’ll find published research and regulations on pesticides used on field tobacco – that’s all over the place. But you can find zero data on pesticides that remain in manufactured tobacco products, and nothing on banned pesticides coming into the US on cheap tobacco waste used in manufacturing US cigarettes and little cigars imported from places like India and Brazil. And zero testing of the health impact of inhaling any of these pesticides by smoking contaminated cigarettes. Pretty strange, I think anyone will have to admit.

Some kind of coordinated policy decision must have been made at a level of power and influence wielded out of public view by generational and corporate wealth shielded by the best legal minds, ensuring that there would be no more of this kind of information readily available to the public. If there is any industry research on tobacco products it is kept tight and private in the Tobacco Cartel’s so-called scientific organization CORESTA.

All funding for research on pesticides in tobacco products was simply cut off by government agencies in the 1970s, and all those government scientists were re-purposed and paid so well they didn’t complain, and this must have all been operating under coordinated control. It didn’t just happen that one day an entire area of published research with thousands of scientific publications suddenly just stopped. I haven’t been able to find a single study, funded by anyone, including the so-called non-profits that raise hundreds of millions for so-called tobacco research, and their own salaries of course, that has looked at the health impact of inhaling the supertoxic cocktail of pesticide residues in tobacco products that every Federal agency, every ‘anti-tobacco’ organization, and the entire Tobacco Cartel all know are concealed in these products.

We know that the agencies involved have played major CYA on this subject over the years, because they’ve left a clear trail of both deliberate omissions and deceptions. They’ve even occasionally had to dodge legislators like they did with Congressman Henry Waxman in 2003 with the massively deceptive GAO Report to Congress “Pesticides On Tobacco: Federal Activities To Assess Risks & Monitor Residues“. That piece of work deserves its own blog post, but the bottom line is that pesticides are no problem and the government is totally on the case – no need to worry. But interestingly enough, when it comes right down to it, here’s how EPA deals with the reality of pesticide residues in tobacco products:

“EPA does not assess intermediate or long-term risks of pesticide residues to smokers because of the severity of health effects linked to use of tobacco products themselves.” EPA 2003

There’s a lot of that kind of deliberately misleading bullshit in the Federal records, but the clarity of this statement is what makes it such a great example. Hey there EPA, couldn’t the “severity of health effects linked to use of tobacco products themselves” maybe be because of the pesticides you don’t care about in those so-called tobacco products?

This is a truly classic “la la – we don’t give a shit” and says everything that needs to be said about how carefully the Tobacco Cartel’s crimes are being shielded by EPA – and every other Federal and State agency, top to bottom.

And let’s keep in mind that FDA and a vigilante posse of clueless Attorneys General just spent tens of millions a few years ago (2010) to force the manufacturers of American Spirit to tell smokers prominently on the package that organic tobacco is NOT safer for them to smoke. This legal action was overtly designed to counter the intuitively correct public assumption that organic tobacco without pesticides is safer to smoke than any cigarette with pesticides.

The FDA is in a total and completely fake tizzy because some smokers have the nerve to continue to believe that organic tobacco is safer for them to smoke! That has to stop! We are totally invested in the story that it’s Tobacco that’s the problem, and only Tobacco.

So here’s the deceptive bullshit that Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company has been forced to display. Of course, they went along with the blackmail rather than defend themselves by mentioning pesticides because every other cigarette brand the Tobacco Cartel makes is heavily contaminated and nobody wanted the questions to begin. So not a peep about organic tobacco and pesticides.


But even FDA realizes that they can’t control the escape of that meaning from their word control game. And the BAT Reynolds/Cartel manufacturers who long ago bought and control American Spirit had to go along with the legal action and comply with whatever lie the FDA wanted them to put on their package. British-American Tobacco and RJ Reynolds were screwed because they couldn’t afford to argue that inhaling pesticide-free American Spirit organic smoke is demonstrably safer than inhaling smoke contaminated with all those pesticides in all their other brands. 

I’m sure that the Tobacco Cartel would like to kill off this one little old organic tobacco brand. Besides exposing their crimes against humanity for anyone who knows what to look for, it turns out American Spirit organic tobacco smokers are perfectly satisfied with an average of 10 a day, and fewer, more leisurely puffs per cigarette, while the average across all other brands is almost 16 a day, and up to 60 a day for seriously addicted smokers, and a rapid puff rate. Another metric that has to disturb the Tobacco Cartel – they depend on the neurotoxic and hormonal effects of inhaled pesticides to create the unbreakable hold that cigarettes have on smokers. American Spirit organic has plenty of nicotine that highly desirable alkaloid, and Nicotine is about as addicting as Caffeine, but American Spirit organic tobacco smokers have a high level of control over their choice to smoke, including quitting.

After immersing myself in the science behind pesticide functions and effects I’ve come to believe that the core of cigarette addiction arises from the body’s intricate adjustments in its neurological and endocrinological systems in response to regular exposure to insecticides and fungicides inhaled as cigarette smoke. I believe that once the human body becomes adjusted to the intake of these neurotoxins by inhalation, which as a living organism it is compelled to do in order to resist their programmed biochemical assaults, quitting cigarettes becomes far more difficult than withdrawing from Heroin. The body has reached an intricate new balance with a combination of potent neurotoxins and endocrine disruptors, and if that balance is disturbed by the withdrawal of those chemicals then all the biological systems are thrown off balance, and the smoker seeks to restore balance as quickly as possible. A smoker’s first hit on a cigarette after being without one for a while can be seen by observers and felt by the smoker to restore that toxic balance.

By design, pesticides impact the same neurological and endocrine systems as the addictive natural alkaloids nicotine, opium and cocaine, and the amphetamines. Pesticides also appear to operate in the same way at the molecular level on the dopamine, serotonin, and ACH signaling systems, and to be in every way, except one, the equivalent in impact of the powerfully addictive “drugs of abuse”. That one exception is that pesticides do not produce pleasurable sensations as a reward, but otherwise it seems quite likely that with chronic exposure they are possibly more addictive as any of the pleasure drugs. This would account for the otherwise inexplicable hold of cigarettes on addicted smokers, leading to a failure rate of 95% among “quitting” smokers – far worse than the rate for quitting heroin, when nicotine itself has been demonstrated to be about as addictive as caffeine.

My “Smoke No Evil” research identified 27 pesticide neurochemicals and endocrine disruptors, each requiring a different body/brain response, whereas Heroin and the other drugs of abuse are basically only single neurochemicals, and addiction to them is to a single set of toxic chemicals.

Adjusting to 10-20 neurochemicals and EDs in cigarettes will clearly be 10-20 times more complex. I don’t see Heroin addiction as a compulsion to seek pleasure, although Heroin trigger the brain’s “reward system”, a response that drives moralists literally insane, judging by their behavior. Pleasure-seeking exists in the beginning of addiction to drugs of abuse but those pleasures fade and go away for most addicts. However cigarette smokers are hooked by a powerful need to seek the complex array of pesticide neurochemicals needed to maintain balance in their body and brain’s neural and hormonal networks.

Notice in the data above that those neurochemicals are present in different cigarette brand in varying mixtures and concentrations. If the pesticide addiction thesis is correct then smokers of different brands are adjusted to the particular combination of pesticides of their chosen brand, and if they switch brands -because they run out, for example – the we would expect that disruptions in their neurological and hormonal networks would force them back home. They wouldn’t ‘like’ the other brand – only their preferred brand. And it seems like that’s what happens, doesn’t it? And that same set of “brand-sensitive” neural and hormonal networks would be set off even more by a sudden withdrawal – cold turkey. Those “brand-sensitive” body networks wouldn’t respond kindly to replacing cigarettes by nicotine patches, gums etc. on the assumption that Nicotine is the addictive force in cigarettes.

All this might explain why nothing seems to work that well in the world of “Quitting”.

So it’s understandable that the Tobacco Cartel would be horrified at the idea of smokers worldwide suddenly going from 16 to 10 cigarettes a day. The Cartel wants more money, always more money and power, and they have hundreds of millions of biochemically conditioned smokers to give them just that.

The Tobacco Cartel owners of Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company couldn’t defend organic tobacco as a safer smoke even in the face of blatant FDA and Attorneys General lies. What were they going to say – American Spirit organic tobacco is safer because all our other brands are loaded with lethal and addictive man-made neurotoxins and endocrine disruptors that are there so we can covertly super-addict smokers while distracting everybody around phony “Nicotine” issues?

Everywhere you look in the Federal regulatory establishment it officially all comes down to saying “It’s the Tobacco, bitches, and just the tobacco, and we’re not going to look any further”. This from a government and anti-tobacco elite that knows perfectly well that there has never been a single study of the health impact of smoking organic tobacco cigarettes compared with smoking any of the commercial cigarettes that it knows are universally and often heavily contaminated. Not one study, not ever. They really do not want to hear about organic tobacco, or that tobacco may not be anywhere near the problem they have staked their entire careers on “fighting”. Maybe there’s nothing about Tobacco to fight, and maybe these evil greedy bastards know it, but are determined that people are never going to find out. Why else would here be absolutely zero research on something this obviously important in 50 years?

If you press them you’ll also hear that the government actually does test tobacco and it regulates the pesticides that can be used on tobacco too. Well, those statements are both “true” and also are very misleading in a carefully crafted lawyerly kind of way. Tobacco in the field is regulated and tested, but pesticides in tobacco products are never tested and they are not regulated.

There are so many deliberately-crafted, subtle misdirections in government agency claims around pesticides and tobacco that it is, also deliberately, hard to decipher them, but the bottom line is that there is zero regulation of pesticides in US tobacco products and there is zero interest in what these xenobiotic substances are doing to smokers and their children, no matter what kind of language these agencies use to try to make it seem like they are on the case. Read carefully and you’ll see the weasel language everywhere, trying to obscure the single compelling fact that no US agency or regulatory organization inspects, tests or regulates pesticides in tobacco products. At all. Period. They are all quite simply complicit with the Tobacco Cartel in concealing this public health atrocity. The standard of guilt at the Nuremburg trials is that the top Nazis “by virtue of their command authority, either knew or ought to have known of the crimes committed under their jurisdiction.” Ditto FDA and EPA.

So that’s probably why finding all that published journal research from the 50’s-70s isn’t easy. Even in Land Grant University libraries where these old ag science journals are supposed to reside, and while many actually do, it’s very difficult to get access to the print copies of these old agricultural journals and the digital archives appear to have been scrubbed or bought up and sequestered – although digging around pays off.

Oddly enough, considering the suppression of public tobacco product research, the Tobacco Cartel itself kept very detailed internal review and research processes going throughout the 20th Century aimed at determining the impact of each of the pesticides they were using on consumer taste. They were concerned that these biologically hyperactive chemicals might make smokers think the cigarettes tasted funny, and they spent hundreds of millions on this research – in plain sight of government agencies. But because all of this research was private, and because they were able to totally suppress any publicly-funded research on pesticides, what the Cartel scientists knew by the 1980s about what these chemicals were doing to smokers was totally concealed behind corporate walls.

There was an explosion of science and medicine in the 1980s and 90s around environmental exposure to pesticides, which everybody agreed was terrible and dangerous and had to be controlled, and which ‘nobody knew’ smokers were being exposed to daily, but there is zero published evidence that the Cartel ever tested their own products for pesticide residues – although I’ll bet that subpoenas of Cartel manufacturing records would turn up decades of detailed batch testing. There looks to be a conspiracy of silence around this whole domain of science and public health and criminality that can only be due to impeccably concealed political and economic influence and the deepest possible public agency corruption by private, concealed power and wealth.

The tests that yielded the data I showed you above were the first of their kind since the 1970’s, and were run by a uniquely qualified pesticide testing lab, a US subsidiary of a major EU company that has been doing testing on tobacco product substrate for years. Some EU governments do regulate pesticides in tobacco products but they have a deal with the Cartel to keep it quiet and so nobody even realizes that it takes place. For example, German cigarettes are simply somehow very, very light on pesticide contamination, but you never hear about it, or see any public discussions of why the German government inspects and regulates tobacco products for pesticides. It simply happens quietly, behind the scenes. That’s undoubtedly the agreement. But any American smoker who has ever gone to Germany and bought their same brand there, or any German smoker who has ever done the same in the US, will know exactly what I’m talking about even though nobody has the true facts that would so easily explain the differences.

But back to the lab tests I ran that opened all this up for me. I’m lucky to be living in Oregon, where because of Cannabis there are a number of highly qualified pesticide testing labs. I found one with impeccable credentials in testing both Cannabis in the US and Tobacco products in – guess where – Germany, their home base. Testing cigarette tobacco for pesticide residues is far more complicated than testing Cannabis, which is this lab’s main business in the US, so being able to have this lab’s scientists collect and test random samples of tobacco products against their massive tobacco substrate database with their experience in doing so was real plus.

Here’s that data again. You tell me – is smoking organic tobacco safer than inhaling any of the factory smokes you see here? The FDA wants you to think that organic tobacco is not safer. The Attorneys General of 33 states, led by California, want you to believe that organic tobacco is not safer. They have forced American Spirit organic cigarettes to say, on the label, that they are not safer. But neither the FDA nor any of the ‘anti-tobacco’ forces can show you actual data to support their claim, which they nevertheless enforce with the full power of their Federal authority. What do you think? Take a look. No safer?

The impact of pesticides in tobacco products can seem like an abstraction but here are a few links to several recent articles where I use journal-based research to detail some of the most severe impacts of these pesticides on human health. These posts are filled with links to the peer-reviewed science behind the raw data I’m sharing here in this post.

Here’s another way to look at the range of contamination smokers are exposed to with non-organic tobacco products. Just absorb the image and notice the differences left to right – premium brand to cheap little cigar. It’s pretty obvious when you see the data displayed this way that as you go lower in price you go up in exposure to a huge range of bioactive chemicals any one of which has potential health & life-threatening properties if inhaled often enough regardless of how tiny the amount.

But please reflect a moment longer on this data and ask yourself – who are the markets for American Spirit Blues, Marlboro Reds, and Swisher Sweets? Who are the people smoking these brands? What are the socio-economic and demographic characteristics of the smokers in these different markets? What are the poor folks inhaling vs the better-off smokers? And why are there such big differences in the amounts and kinds of pesticides and insecticides affecting these different groups of people? Those questions all have hard evidence answers, which I try to cover in my blog posts and books, but you can probably answer them yourself just by looking at these three brands. Let this slightly different display of the same data you’ve seen above speak to you. It reveals the dynamics of a hard truth behind millions of deaths. Not just these three brands and the landscape of chemical madness they reveal. Who is smoking the premium brand and who is smoking the cheap brand? What does that tell you?

After all, government at all levels and “non-profit” parasites like Truth Initiative are full partners in the revenues generated both by taxing tobacco products and by conducting the fake ‘fight’ against them, and they have every reason to conceal the fact that they know that pesticides are a major, even primary and 100% preventable cause of smoking-related disease and death.

The only reason pesticide residues are in tobacco products at all is because it is much more profitable and far more convenient for Tobacco Cartel companies to produce them that way than to make them cleaner and safer and organic, and the only reason that nobody has called them on this atrocity is because they have spread so much money around in so many places for so many years. If you want to identify tobacco industry co-conspirators, or maybe just pathetic dupes, just look for the ones claiming that all tobacco products are equally hazardous, organic American Spirit and Swisher Sweets alike. 

If around now you’re thinking “Well, some of those pesticides look pretty bad but those concentrations look awfully low to do any damage to smokers” please understand that science now knows that many of these designer chemicals are highly bioactive in human nerves, tissues and organs even at molecular levels.

“Toxic effects of pesticide mixtures at a molecular level: their relevance to human health”

The damage even goes well beyond the smoker. For example, if your mother smoked a brand contaminated with DDT and other organochlorines and organophosphates, which as you saw earlier was almost a certainty any time from 1950 – 1972, and you are a woman, then your odds of developing breast cancer are much, much higher as a result of what DDT in those cigarettes did to your mother’s DNA. That genetic damage is passed on to both female and male children across generations.

For peer-reviewed journal research on maternal DDT and Breast Cancer see also here and here and here. Oh, and how about Obesity? If your mother was exposed to DDT while she was carrying you, your odds of uncontrollable obesity rise dramatically. Remember, smokers from 1950-1972 were probably universally exposed to DDT, and even if they quit during pregnancy there was more than enough DDT circulating in their bodies to damage you before you were even you. Every brand in those days was contaminated not just with DDT but with Endrin, Aldrin, Lindane, Dieldrin and literally dozens of other OC and OP pesticides. Remember those links to the 1950-72 research here  and  here  and here  and here and here?

So please tell me – are there any differences worth mentioning between those non-organic American Spirit, Marlboro and Swisher Sweets? Would tobacco cigarettes without these specific contaminants be safer than contaminated cigarettes. Prove it for yourself. Search for any one of these fungicides or insecticides listed above along with keywords like “neurological”, “fetal”, “diabetes”, “obesity”, “birth defect” or “cancer” and see what you get. As you’re looking at the results, ask yourself:

  • Is the least contaminated tobacco product safer than the most contaminated one, or not? 
  • Even if you assume that the tobacco in all three brands is the same, which it isn’t, would you say there are differences in safety levels, or not? 
  • If someone you love is smoking and you can’t get them to stop, which of the three brands above would you want them to smoke, and why?
  • If your kid is sneaking off and smoking, which of these brands would you least want them to be smoking, and why? 

Looking at that hard data, only blind arrogance or a hidden agenda could continue to claim that the DDT, Carbendazim and Penconazole residues in the little cigars that kids are smoking right now, today, by the tens of thousands in every city in the US, doesn’t matter because tobacco itself is so bad anyway. Yet that is exactly what EPA, FDA, all the anti-smoking groups, and all the state health departments pretend to believe. That’s their excuse for doing nothing, and it’s pathetic. Here’s why.

First as I said before, there is simply zero research on the health effects of smoking uncontaminated tobacco products. No such study has ever been done. In addition, virtually all smoking and health research that used tobacco smoke obtained that smoke from “Research Standard” cigarettes supplied by the Tobacco Cartel itself, and with zero data on what pesticide residues were present in any of these “research” cigarettes.

They have recently (2022) confessed this in writing, in response to my FOIA open records request.

Please tell me any other area of research where the materials to be examined for their health impact are not completely characterized? No research study I have found, and I’ve looked pretty carefully, has ever acknowledged the presence of pesticide residues in the “tobacco” they were using to test the health effects of smoking tobacco.

So all statements about tobacco products begin with the unstated, unproven assumption, which is super-convenient for the Cartel, the government ‘regulators’, and the non-profit parasites, that tobacco is causing so much of the obvious harm that any damage being done by those insecticides and fungicides, that are absolutely necessary for the Tobacco Cartel to maximize profits, can safely be ignored. Not just ignored, but actively placed outside consideration or even public knowledge. In other words, concealed by conspiracy.

This level of self-serving deceitfulness while enormous numbers of people die from pesticide contaminated tobacco products every year, and while children around the world are sealing their future fates by being lured into smoking these cheap contaminated tobacco products, all of which is 100% preventable, is beyond disgusting. 

The question that must be asked – if it were possible, wouldn’t the kids smoking this trash, idiots that they certainly are, be safer smoking these products if they were made from exactly the same crap as they are now, from trash and waste tobacco and cheap chemical flavorings but weren’t contaminated with those extremely hazardous pesticides we can all see in the hard data for the first time now?

We know that 1 in 13 of all the children under 17 alive today will die prematurely, painfully and expensively of “smoking-related” disease. That is a whole lot of children and future suffering.  Do you think any of it could be prevented just by requiring tobacco manufacturers to remove pesticide residues from their tobacco?

They could do that, almost in a flash. Why don’t they? Because they don’t have to, and because it’s much more profitable to use chemicals than to use labor, even in the remote areas of the Third World where they grow their tobacco out of sight of regulators and inspectors.

Every tobacco product on the market could theoretically be made with responsibly grown and even organic tobacco – no problem. Give the industry 3-5 years and a drop-dead set of conditions and they will do whatever they have to do. It would take longer to actually become widely organic, but in 3-5 years the world tobacco supply could be 75% cleared of extreme and severely hazardous pesticide residues and the lives of millions of people conserved for a future with their families.

However as long as “players” like FDA and Truth Initiative and others like them play the “All Tobacco Is Equally Bad” game nothing will change. Of the total number of smokers dying each year, a significant number die because of the arrogant conceit of those who believe (or at least pretend to believe) they know all the truth there is to know about Tobacco when they have never once set foot in any tobacco field anywhere, much less a field that has just been sprayed with DDT in India, Nicaragua or Brazil. These countries supply hundreds of tons of contaminated tobacco waste to US manufacturers that they make into fruity little sweet smokes for our kids. US companies are also totally permitted to import tobacco products like fruity little cigars from these countries with zero inspection for DDT or any other pesticides. As long as they pay their import taxes they skate, and all that toxic load goes straight into the lungs of the young black and brown smokers in poor communities.

And then in 2015 the moralists and parasites had the nerve to go after organic tobacco. The problem is that they apparently don’t know what Tobacco is, or really that much about it, because if they did they wouldn’t have gotten themselves into the really stupid trap of insisting for the record that there’s no difference between organic tobacco and severely contaminated tobacco. They may claim when finally confronted that they don’t know about all those pesticides, but they are on the record as fully informed.

Notice that in the data tables above even the regular American Spirit Blue non-organic brand is lower in pesticides than the Marlboro or another RJR brand, Camel. That’s a big difference in safety levels even among non-organic brands, much less between organic and non-organic. However, if RJR had defended American Spirit organic tobacco on that simple evidence-based premise then they would have had to admit how contaminated all their other products are, and why. Oops! That’s a non-starter. Think of the lawsuits!

So it was a much, much better deal for RJR to let FDA pretend they scored a big win, just like years before the Surgeon General’s warnings were a godsend to tobacco manufacturers. It let them say – hey, you were warned. The so-called “Tobacco Settlement” was an even bigger fraud – look at what is actually being done with all that money. Lots of “Tobacco is really really bad” advertising, lots of huge salaries and nice perks, everybody congratulating themselves on what a great job they’re doing, and no change in the numbers of people suffering and dying, or in the number of kids heading down that dead-end road.

Until my little non-profit finally got funding and was able to begin testing tobacco products in late 2018, not one dime has ever been spent by the “anti-tobacco” forces to test for these contaminants that by themselves make these products illegal, period. But then the “Tobacco is really really bad” game would be over, wouldn’t it. Imagine the public reaction if it became clear that people in positions of responsibility and authority had known about pesticide contamination of tobacco products for many smokers’ lifetimes and had never once spoken out.

FDA knows what it has to do in return for being allowed to look like a winner in the organic tobacco derby. Their part of the deal is not to make too much noise about all those “crop protection agents”. That’s what the industry calls pesticides. After all, crops need protection, right? so much better than a nasty word ending in “cide”.

FDA and the anti-tobacco PR and advertising shills are allowed to beat the drums and make up endless variations of the “Tobacco Is So Bad” meme because that doesn’t hurt the tobacco industry one bit, but it does allow thousands of people to keep doing extremely dubious work to justify their lucrative titles and careers “fighting tobacco”.

Ever wonder why FDA is being so helpful in the industry’s pivot away from tobacco and toward e-cigarettes? Are they are all hoping that their complicity in 75 years of slaughter for profit will just slide on out of sight? Yes, complicity. FDA has had institutional knowledge of the presence of heavy concentrations of hazardous pesticides in tobacco products for over 50 years and has not once, ever brought it up in any hearings or testimony or research. That’s complicity.

I call the tobacco industry’s reckless, negligent, criminal behavior “slaughter for profit” simply because the tobacco industry doesn’t have to use pesticides at all. Traditional tobacco growers used hand labor for hundreds of years and did just fine. The tobacco companies use chemicals in place of labor strictly for increased profits and they have rigged the regulatory systems of the world so that they are protected from the consequences of their greed-driven decisions.

Should people who smoke be protected from these contaminants, or do they deserve whatever happens to them?

If these chemicals were in wine or beer, would that be OK just because alcohol is known to be so hazardous to health anyway.

Does it not matter that the most hazardous of these brands, the one with 375 times the highest background level of DDT, is the one that most kids 11-16 love?

Because use of tobacco products, with or without pesticide residues, is so hazardous to health, all of the Oregon Health Authority’s efforts around tobacco are aimed at discouraging use of tobacco products and encouraging cessation of tobacco use in people already using it.” Oregon Health Authority 2018

“EPA does not assess intermediate or long-term risks of pesticide residues to smokers because of the severity of health effects linked to use of tobacco products themselves.” EPA 2018

“Organic,” “natural” or “additive-free” product labels may imply a healthier or safer choice, but that couldn’t be further from the truth when it comes to tobacco products. A cigarette with organic tobacco or tobacco with no additives does not make it healthier or safer than other cigarettes.” Truth Initiative 2018

That’s what every regulatory agency in the country, and in most of the world, wants you to believe – if you ever ask the question at all. So, these people are fully on record – no differences at all? Pesticide contamination of tobacco products doesn’t make smoking them more dangerous than if they were USDA Certified organic tobacco. Really? Now, hold on a minute …..

3 thoughts on “Organic Tobacco Is Safer Tobacco & Here’s Why

  1. Good points raised here, and with technical support, how refreshing. Additives and residues are the monsters, the herb is not the enemy. How can anyone who pressures for the consumption of impure goods sleep at night?


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