Tobacco giants are getting into the coronavirus vaccine race

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British American Tobacco (BAT), the company that manufactures global cigarette brands such as Lucky Strike, Pall Mall, Newport, and Camel cigarettes, among others, made a curious announcement last week: Its biotech subsidiary Kentucky BioProcessing is potentially advancing a coronavirus vaccine candidate into human clinical trials.

BAT says that it’s using tobacco plants in the manufacturing process of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine, but that doesn’t mean cigarettes or nicotine products will help prevent coronavirus infection. In fact, the it is the exact opposite.

The company believes that using tobacco plants during the creation of the vaccine can speed up vaccine production,

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