Our corporate mission is to reduce the harm associated with tobacco use at every level. Star Scientific was founded on the belief that is technologically possible to lessen the health risks associated with long-term tobacco use.
Our goals, initiatives and strategies all flow from the harsh realities of widespread national and global tobacco use. Tobacco-related disease is the single most preventable cause of premature death in the United States. The global realities are even more troubling. Worldwide, more than 1.2 billion people use tobacco daily, and about 4 million of those users will die prematurely this year.
We are different from other tobacco companies because we have always accepted the findings of the U.S. Surgeon General Reports that detail the risk to human life that are associated with smoking. It is our position that good science should drive tobacco product manufacturing and marketing, and that technologies aimed at toxin reduction ought to be the standards for measurement in the 21st century.
Star Scientific's Board of Directors unanimously adopted a core Policy Statement in 1999 that reflects the company's belief that it has a corporate responsibility to continue to expand research and development efforts that result in the manufacture of tobacco products that contain as few toxins as is technologically feasible.
We scaled up a non-chemical tobacco curing technology, StarCured™, that interferes with the formation of tobacco specific nitrosamines (TSNAs) that occurs in traditional curing methods.
We market dissolvable smokeless tobacco products made with tobacco that is 100% Virginia StarCured® tobacco, with TSNA levels that we believe are the lowest anywhere in the world. These products were the first dissolvable smokeless products in the commercial marketplace. We believe these products hold great promise in two ways. Each has TSNA levels that are extremely low, even when measured in "parts per billion". In addition, these products are not burned, so that smoke is not inhaled into the lungs (tobacco smoke produces at least 65 compounds that are known to be carcinogens)
We fully support all efforts to prevent tobacco initiation and use by young people, and to promote cessation among current users. At the same time, we believe we can contribute to lessening the harm caused by conventional smoked and smokeless tobacco products to those adults who continue to use them.
We continued our commitment to innovation and change in 2007 with the formation of Rock Creek Pharmaceuticals, a wholly-owned subsidiary. Rock Creek explores and develops products and compounds, many tobacco-based or tobacco-related that have the potential to address a range of neurological conditions, or to maintain a healthy metabolism.
Rock Creek also is working collaboratively with external research centers to examine the role that these compounds can play in addressing both neurological disorders and chronic inflammation. The first product initiative, in 2010, produced CigRx®, a non-nicotine, non-tobacco dietary supplement that can be used by smokers to curb the urge to light a cigarette.
We want to make fundamental changes in the way adults address their tobacco use habits, and leverage every bit of learning that we can obtain about potentially beneficial use of the tobacco plant.