M. Winstonluckystrikesium (Safe Tobacco) is a member of the Nightshade family, where the tomato, potato, and common tobacco plants (Nicotania Tabacum) also reside. Developed by a group of tobacco companies and a biotech firm named CENSORED in 1962, it was supposed to replace N. Tabacum as the plant of choice for cigarettes, but was shelved after its testing phase.
Development and Early TestingEdit
According to files disclosed during Virginia v. Tobacco International (1967), M. Winstonluckstrikesium was developed through “manipulation of the TAR- 21 and NIC- 82 genes of the standard N. Tabacum plant” (Klein, 1963). The intent of said bioengineering was as follows:
1. Reduction of tar output
2. Increase of nicotine content
3. Reduction of carcinogen levels present in smoke
Test reports following the initial development indicate that these objectives were achieved; according to Morris (1966), “test subjects who smoked cigarettes made with Marlborum Winstonluckystrikesium on a daily basis showed no more signs of lung damage than would be considered normal for someone living in a large city.”
Later Testing and DiscontinuationEdit
While the initial test results were promising, problems began to surface after the conclusion of early trials; among others, there were reports of “sudden massive cellular ruptures” (Smith, 1967) in subjects who stopped smoking the Winstonluckystrikesium- filled cigarettes. During a closed hearing before the American Medical Association, Rogers (1967) testified that this was a “more extreme version of nicotine withdrawal brought on by the greatly increased nicotine content of the new cigarettes.” As a result of this and a lawsuit filed by family members of one of the affected test subjects, research was halted in 1969 with no plans to resume it in the future.
Virginia v. tobacco international, (Virginia Supreme Court 1967).
Klein, K. (1963). Marlboro winstonluckystrikesium: An investigation of the effects of the
manipulation of the TAR- 21 and NIC- 82 genes in nicotiniana tabacum. Agricultural Bioengineering Quarterly, 2(1), 103-216.
Smith, J. (1967). Sudden traumatic cellular rupture among test subjects of tobacco international's
new cigarettes. Scalpel, 12(1), 200.