US 2907686 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patented Oct. 6, 1959 Fire CIGARETTE SUBSTITUTE AND METHOD Henry I. Siege], Rancho Cordova, Calif.
No Drawing. Application December 23, 1954 Serial No. 477,427
18 Claims. (Cl. 131-2) The present invention relates to a tobacco substitute for use in cigarettes, cigars and pipes, and in particular to a process for preparing a substitute for tobacco products calculated to have the psychological effect of such prod ucts without attendant health hazards. To advantage, in accordance with the present invention, there is provided a new product which physically and psychologically emulates natural tobacco products, yet does not subject the user to the irritants and like by-products produced inci-. dent to the burning of natural tobacco.
As is well understood, tobacco smoke is derived from the burning of cigarette, cigar or pipe tobacco as a result of thermal decomposition and oxidation of the natural tobacco leaf. Numerous studies have been conducted and are being conducted to analyze the constituents of ordinary tobacco smoke. Such analysis has shown the presence of phenol, pyrocatechol, benzaldehyde, resins, resin acids, aldehydes, ketones, fatty acids, methanol, creosote, guaiacol, poly-phenols, furfural, levoglucosan, ammonia, amines, hydrogen sulfide, hydrocyanic acid, thiocyanic acid, pyridyl ethyl ketone, pyridine homologues, N-methyl pyrrolidine, pyrrole derivatives and other materials to be contained in an average sample of tobacco smoke. Although the exact cause of irriation has not been isolated, it is thought that such irritation is due in good measure to the presence of nicotine, ammonia, acids, aldehydes and similar materials. Apart from a real or threatened health hazard resultant from smoke, there is the ever-present psychological fear of illness, particularly the contraction of malignant diseases, which the public must overcome in using natural tobacco products. Such health hazard and psychological discomfort, in each instance, must be reconciled with the users need for tobacco.
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a substitute for natural tobacco products which will be of psychological comfort 'to the smoker, yet contain none or much less of the potentially harmful therinal decomposition products resulting from the burning of natural tobacco.
In accordance with a preferred form of the present invention, a tobacco substitute is provided which includes an absorbent non-toxic fuel burnable to produce hot gases, and a flavoring agent carried by the non-toxic fuel and adapted to be distilled off incident to the production of the hot gases. The distillation product resulting from the heating of the flavoring agent is selected to be conspicuously sensible to taste and smell, and it is this very distillation product from which the user derives taste sensationand psychological comfort.
It will thus be appreciated that the distillation-produced smoke is of a fundamentally different character from the smoke produced by the thermal decomposition or oxidation of tobacco in cigarettes or cigars. Numerous advantages, both from the standpoint of manufacture and consumer acceptance are realized with products embodying features of the present invention which advantages may best be understood by a brief comparison with tobacco products. Whereas the taste and odor sensation from tobacco are arrived at essentially from decomposition products which vary in accordance with the tobacco and essentially are not controllable, the taste and odor of the distillation tobacco substitute is readily controllable and may be formulated to satisfy individual taste requirements. Whereas the burning of tobacco necessarily produces irritants, the distillation products from the present cigarette substitute are essentially of the same constituency as the input materials. By judicious selection of the flavoring agent, a possibility of health hazard is virtually precluded. Further, the flavoringagents which are in corporatcd into the present substitute are sensed by taste and smell and therefore the user derives essentially the maximum sensation without the need for inhaling the distillation products. With a decreased tendency to inhale the distillation products, yet the ability to derive satisfaction therefrom, further health advantages are realized in that it is generally understood that toxicity results from breathing into the respiratory tract irritants or contaminants.
Numerous other advantages, objects and features of the present invention will become apparent by reference to the following detailed description of the cigarette substitute and modifications thereof, as well as presently preferred proccesses for fabricating such cigarette substitutes. In the following detailed description the terms absorbcut and adsorbent are interchangeable although the latter term in technical circles may be accorded a more limited definition. r
A substitute for tobacco in accordance with the present invention is composed of a non-toxic fuel, an aromatic flavoring agent, the carrier for the flavoring agent which may also serve as the non-toxic fuel, and optionally a non-toxic smoke-forming agent and a non-toxic ash-forming agent which will deposit an air-permeable insulating ash. When the tobacco substitute is to be used specifically for a cigarette or cigar, it may be further advantageous to sheath the substitute with a non-toxic combustible sealed coating which channels the flow of gases along the length of the cigarette or cigar and provides a desirable surface appearance and texture. Still further, when used as a cigarette or cigar, a mouthpiece, with or without filter, may be formed at one end of the cigarette substitute.
A single material found eminently suitable to serve as both the non-toxic fuel and the carrier for the flavoring agent is an activated or non-activated carbon. Such combined fuel source and carrier may be manufactured from wood which is of a high ash content such that the ash content of the resulting charcoal is between 10 and 20% and the porosity is of the order of 50 to Specifically as applied to the manufacture of a cigarette substitute, raw stock in the form of an elongated cylinder having a diameter of the order of approximately 1.0 cm. may be charred in the absence of air, starting at a temperature of about 250 C. and progressing in increments up to 800 C. over a period of 4 to 6 hours. During this charring period, the wood is freed of volatile components, such as tars and resins which might be injurious to health. The charring is conducted under vacuumsuch that the porosity and distribution of the pores in the char permits ready passage of air whereby the cigarette may be readily drawn. The passage of approximately 25 to 28 cubic cm. per second of air measured at 20 C. and at 1 atmosphere, under a pressure ditferential of 3 inches of water when applied across a length of approximately2 /2 inches of char is of the order of porosity found suitable for the manufacture of the combined fuel source and carrier. When desired, the char may be activated by any suitable gas-activating method.
As an example'of such gas-activating method, a mixture of 50% air and 50% superheated steam at 1 atmosphere and at a temperature of 650 to 800 C. is passed through the porous char for approximately 4 hours. The porosity is controlled as aforesaid until the air passage is of the order of 2 8 to 31 cubic cm. per second. 7
Although charcoal is a very good adsorbent, it is equally within the contemplation of the present invention to employ a separate carrier for the flavoring agent. Other such adsorbents are fullers earth (used to bleach or dec'olorize oils and fats), and natural or activated clays for decolorizing petroleum fractions and the like.
The aromatic flavoring agent which is used to impregnate the carrier may consist of any suitable blend of natural or synthetic flavoring oils, such as vanilla, eucalyptol, octyl'acetate or isoamyl isovalerate.
The smokeformiingagent, which is non-toxic, may be admixed with the flavoring agent, for example by dis solving the same in a quantity of alcohol. The quantity of smoke-forming agent which is added is dependent on the volume of smoke desired and its required color. Thesmoke-forming agent preferably is an edible solid or liquid and must have a vapor pressure at 240 C. of not less than 200 mm. mercury pressure and have little or no taste. Such smoke-forming agents may be characterized as substances which will yield a distillation product incident to heating which product is opaque and of a color calculated to simulate cigarette smoke. As an example, glycerol and glycerol monoacetate meet the above requirements, and when subjected to heat from the fuel source is distilled followed by recondensation in the form of an optically opaque mist or smoke-like haze. A further smoke former may be a material which is convertible to a condensible non-toxic solid or liquid mist which mist has. no or very little taste or odor. Examples of condensible non-toxic materials of this type are calcium pimelate, which is converted to cyclohexanone and calcium carbonate upon heating, and calcium suberate which is converted to cycloheptanone and calcium carbonate upon heating. A further example of smokeforming materials are those which are produced by distillation and/or thermal decomposition of a coal tar color, employed in food, drugs and cosmetics. Such coal tar colors are well known in the art and produce a haze of high optical opacity; the coal tar colors are exceptionally effective as smoke formers with low concentration, of the order of ;4% by weight of the carbon content.
The deposition of an air-permeable, insulating ash is achieved by the use of a high ash-containing carbonizable source which will produce a char having between l to 20% ash; function fth' heat insulatin ash ismrevent radiation away from the burning zone or end, thus helping to maintain a temperature at the burning zone 'o'r end ata snflicien'tly high level to permit slow burning and further simulating the action of a cigarette. In thealternjative', the insulating ash may be attained by soaking a low ash-containing wood source in a solution of asuprouueing inorganic salts, such as zinc chloride, nmepmasu, magnesium oxide, alumina, and the like. The low ash wood absorbs the salts and these precipitate out as an ash in burning the char during m t Appropriate materials for sheathing or coating the cigarette or cigar bo' y are' cor'icentrated sugar solutions, whereas the mouthpiece, witho'r without filter, may be formed coatin over one end re ion of the cigarette substitute by a hard/gum orient.
For a morethoroug'h understanding of the present in-' vention, a typical process will new be detailed:
After'prep'aratio 'of thechar in appropriate shape and preliminary treatment with or without activation, the char servirig a earn r inlay be impregnated with an appropriate matter of the flavoring oils and/ or any of the described snidkefproducing agents contained in an alcohol base. Such impregnation is preferably achieved,
after activation of the char and cooling to room temperature in the absence of air, by dropping the char body or carrier into the impregnate and allowing the body to age for approximately 1 to 2 hours. The char body or carrier is then removed from the impregnate, allowed to drain or dry until substantially free of alcohol, at which time it will retain its flavor-drawing characteristics. This retention may be by the way of physical absorption on the large surface areas available in the activated and highly porous carbon or by the retention of the oils through capillary action throughout the voids or recesses in the charred body. It is within the contemplation of the invention to package the cigarette substitutes immediately upon preparation, to enclose the flavoring constituents and thus minimize evaporation and loss of flavoring. Further, the sheathing of the cigarette body tends to contain the flavor-imparting constituents.
Immediately following the impregnation, the cigarette or cigar body is sprayed with a concentrated sugar solu tion or rolled in an appropriate coating pan to produce the thin tubular sheath or coating of suitable texture and appearance which serves to confine the flow of gases along the length of the body. Optionally a mouthpiece is formed at one end of the body to eliminate the taking into the users mouth of the sugar coated end of the cigarette body proper.
In use, upon igniting the non-toxic fuel which preferably serves as the carrier for the flavoring agent, the
same burns and provides a flow of hot gases over the absorbed flavoring agent. The flow of such gases is confined along the length of the tube due to the presence of confining walls, whether they be provided by the tobacco pipe, or the integral sheathing. As the hot gases flow over the flavoring agent, most of the flavors are distilled off and the distillate is carried toward the sr'nokers mouth due to the drawing action. This re moval of the distillation product leaves essentially car bon. As the flavor-laden gases pass away from the burning zone toward the cooler portion of the cigarette or cigar body, the oils contained in the distillate recondense into relatively small droplets, forming a mist, and pass into the mouth and nose of the smoker wherethey' create a sensation by taste and smell. As indicated, the flavoring agents may be formulated to suit individual tastes, and may include individually or in blends, vanilla, orange, mint, banana and the like. Due to the burning action of the char and the presence of the smoke-producing agent, use of the present substitute will very much simulate the smoking and burning of a conventional cigarette.
Thus it will be appreciated that the present invention provides a new smoking concept as compared to the burning of a cigarette; may be readily controlled as to the constituents which enter the respiratory system, and may be prepared to yield a desirable taste and/or smell to the user. In that the constituents of this synthetic tobacco substitute are of relatively low cost, the product should be commercially available at much lower cost than that of cigarettes or cigars. I
The foregoing is illustrative of the many forms which the present invention may take, and in some instances certain features of the invention will be used without a corresponding use of other features. Accordingly, the appended claims should be construed in a manner consistent with the disclosure herein.
What'I claim is: p
1. A tobacco substitute comprising a charge of charcoal burnable to produce hot gases, a flavoring agent in heat exchange relation to said charcoal and adapted to be distilled on from said charge incident to production of hot gases in a burning zone, and a non-toxic smoke-forming agent in said charge adapted to be activated by burning said charcoal to create the psychological effect of smoking a cigarette.
2. A cigarette substitute comprising a generally cylin dn'cal charge of porous combustible charcoal, a flavoring agent and a non-toxic smoke-forming agent dispersed in said charge.
3. A tobacco substitute according to claim 2 wherein said smoke-forming agent is essentially a glycerol which is adapted to distill oif from said charcoal and recondense in the form of an optically opaque mist.
4. A tobacco substitute according to claim 2 wherein said smoke-forming agent is essentially a calciun1-containing material which is adapted to be converted by heat to a condensible mist.
5. A tobacco substitute according to claim 2 wherein said smoke-forming agent is a certified food color which is adapted to be decomposed by heat.
6. A cigarette substitute comprising an elongated body of charcoal burnable in a burning zone to create a flow of hot gases for passage along the length of said body, a flavoring agent dispersed through said body and adapted to be distilled off incident to production of hot gases 7 in said burning zone, and an edible seal coating sheathing said body through its length and channeling the flow of hot gases along the length of said body.
7. A cigarette substitute comprising an elongated body of charcoal burnable in a burning zone to create a flow of hot gases for passage along the length of said body, a flavoring agent dispersed through said body and adapted to be distilled ofi' incident to the production of hot gases in said burning zone, an edible seal coating sheathing said body through its length and channeling the flow of hot gases along the length of said body, and a nontoxic smokc-forming agent in said body adapted to be activated by burning said charcoal.
8. A tobacco substitute comprising a charge of an absorbent activated char having a high ash content and burnable to produce hot gases, a flavoring agent carried by said char and adapted to be distilled otf from said charge incident to production of hot gases in a burning zone, and a non-toxic smoke-forming agent in said charge adapted to be activated by burning said char to create the psychological effect of smoking a cigarette.
9. The method of manufacturing a tobacco substitute including the steps of preparing a charge of charcoal which is burnable to produce hot gases, and impregnating said charcoal with a flavoring agent which is adapted to be distilled oif from said charge incident to production of hot gases in a burning zone of said charcoal.
10. The method of manufacturing a tobacco substitute including the steps of preparing a charge of charcoal burnable to produce hot gases, impregnating said charcoal with a flavoring agent adapted to be distilled oif from said charge incident to production of hot gases in a burning zone, and further impregnating said charcoal with a non-toxic smoke-forming agent which is activated 6 by burning said charcoal to create the smoking efi'ect of a burning cigarette.
11. A tobacco substitute consisting essentially of a charge of charcoal having a porosity of from about 50% r to about and a flavoring oil dispersed in said charcoal.
12. A tobacco substitute comprising a charge of charcoal having a porosity of from about 50% to about 60%, and flavoring oil and a non-toxic smoke-forming agent dispersed in said charcoal.
13. A tobacco substitute according to claim 12 wherein said smoke-forming agent is an agent selected from the group consisting of glycerols, esters of glycerols, coal tar colors, calcium salts of organic acids and mixtures thereof.
14. A tobacco substitute comprising a charge of charcoal having a porosity of from about 50% to about 60%, a flavoring oil dispersed in said charcoal, and a nontoxic inorganic ash forming salt.
15. A cigarette substitute consisting essentially of a non-toxic fuel having generally cylindrical form, said fuel comprising essentially charcoal having an ash content of from about 10% to about 20% and a porosity of from about 50% to about 60%, and a flavoring oil dispersed in said charcoal.
16. A cigarette substitute consisting essentially of a non-toxic fuel having generally cylindrical form, said fuel comprising essentially charcoal having an ash content of from about 10% to about 20% and a porosity suflicient to allow the passage of from about 25 to about 28 cc./sec. of air at 20 C. and 1 atmosphere of pressure under a pressure difierential of about 3 inches of Water applied across a'length of about 2 /2 inches of charcoal, and a flavoring oil dispersed in said fuel.
17. A cigarette substitute comprising a generally cylindrical charge of porous combustible charcoal and a flavoring agent dispersed in said charge.
18. A cigarette substitute according to claim 17 wherein said generally cylindrical charge is restncted with a. sheathing of non-permeable material so as to facilitate the flow of gases along the length of said charge.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 303,493 Culp Aug. 12, 1884 770,883 Yingling Sept. 27, 1904 1,985,840 Sadtler Dec.,25, 1934 2,172,357 Brown Jan. 29, 1938 2,576,021 Korree Nov. 20, 1951 2,734,509 Jurgensen Feb. 14, 1956 FOREIGN PATENTS