A US government agency is offering tobacco farmers incentives to reduce the amount of tobacco in their fields and the price of their products.
It is the latest example of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) giving preferential treatment to tobacco products in an effort to combat the growing public health problem of tobacco-related disease.
The FDA has been a champion of tobacco for decades, but in recent years, it has come under fire for approving a number of new tobacco products, including a tobacco replacement product that has since been pulled from the market after reports of its safety.
In 2015, the FDA approved an ad campaign that used tobacco to sell cigarettes and other tobacco products.
The agency also approved a tobacco cigarette substitute called a tobacco pipe.
The new ad campaign, which was produced by a Washington-based company called Nautilus, is based on an earlier ad campaign produced by Nautilis Tobacco, which has a similar brand.
According to the agency, the Nautiliuses tobacco pipe is “more affordable and has better flavor and packaging than tobacco.”
The agency’s Tobacco Tobacco Road Harley campaign has already generated nearly $1.5 million in government grants.
“This new tobacco incentive campaign encourages farmers to focus on their crops, not on how they can sell their tobacco products,” said FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg.
“The incentives offer farmers the opportunity to grow their tobacco without having to invest in costly and time-consuming technologies.”
Nautillus has been the recipient of grants for tobacco-specific projects for a number and a half years.
According a press release from the FDA, the agency has approved the following projects that benefit tobacco farmers: $1,000 for a 10-acre tobacco farm to increase yields by at least 10% by using less soil and plant nutrients; $1 for a 15-acre agricultural tobacco farm with no use of fertilizers; and $500 to purchase two tractor-trailer trucks for a one-year delivery of two tractor trailers for a farmer.
The program also awards grants to support the development of new technologies for tobacco farming.
According the agency: Tobacco farmers in the United States have an average of 6.3 tobacco acres planted annually, with an average annual yield of 1.1 million pounds of tobacco.
The average annual harvest is more than 6.7 million pounds, of which over 30% is used to manufacture cigarettes.
The cost of tobacco cultivation is estimated at $1 billion annually.
The USDA has allocated more than $1 million to support tobacco-focused research and development efforts in the past few years, including more than 2,000 grants awarded to universities in recent months.
The tobacco industry supports the program through a network of tobacco farmers, agricultural organizations, and nonprofit organizations that work with tobacco farmers on tobacco research.
“It’s not uncommon for tobacco growers to work closely with other industry partners to address tobacco related disease challenges, and this is a great example of that,” said James Stoddart, a vice president with the Tobacco Institute, an industry trade group.
“These grants and incentives help farmers increase the yield and reduce the risk of developing diseases from tobacco.”
A spokesperson for Nautillus Tobacco said that the company is “not aware of any additional federal funds for the Tobacco Road Harley program.”