- December 11, 2014
The story of Dr James D. Mold and his cancer free cigarette is one that would incense every smoker and every person who has lost a loved one due to the effects of tobacco smoking. While there have always been rumours that tobacco companies were less than honest about the health risks associated with cigarette smoking, the information that came to light about the pioneering work Mold did and how he was ignored highlights the greed that drove the tobacco industry.
How It All Started
Mold began working in 1955 as a scientist for Liggett & Myers, a tobacco company in North Carolina. His role was to identify cancer causing ingredients in cigarette smoke that lab mice were exposed to. Working alongside other scientists, Mold found the materials that caused cancer on the skin of lab mice and started a project to make a safer cigarette that would exclude or minimise these harmful ingredients.
Mold’s pioneering work on creating a different cigarette that didn’t give you cancer became known as Project XA. He had the backing of Liggett to develop such a product, and worked incessantly with the A.D Little Company on the task ahead.
25 years after he started, Mold finally came up with the XA, or the palladium cigarette, that relied on the use of palladium and magnesium nitrate to destroy cancer causing substances in cigarette smoke. Indeed, in lab tests performed, these cigarettes were shown to have been successful in reducing the incidence of cancer in lab animals.
Despite the company’s initial support, Executives withdrew their backing for the project and the palladium cigarette never got to the production stage. The main reason for this was simple – the company’s lawyers had advised that launching a safer product would lead to endless lawsuits from the public for the less safe products