tocacco plant Native American Tobaccoo flower, leaves, and buds

tocacco Tobacco is an annual or bi-annual growing 1-3 meters tall with large sticky leaves that contain nicotine. Native to the Americas, tobacco has a long history of use as a shamanic inebriant and stimulant. It is extremely popular and well-known for its addictive potential.

tocacco nicotina Nicotiana tabacum

tocacco Nicotiana rustica leaves. Nicotiana rustica leaves have a nicotine content as high as 9%, whereas Nicotiana tabacum (common tobacco) leaves contain about 1 to 3%

tocacco cigar A cigar is a tightly rolled bundle of dried and fermented tobacco which is ignited so that its smoke may be drawn into the mouth. Cigar tobacco is grown in significant quantities in Brazil, Cameroon, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Indonesia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Sumatra, Philippines, and the Eastern United States.

tocacco Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the fresh leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. It can be consumed, used as an organic pesticide, and in the form of nicotine tartrate it is used in some medicines. In consumption it may be in the form of smoking, snuffing, chewing, dipping tobacco, or snus.


Bill that could “fix” a mistake made in a smoking ban

While Marion County delegates haven’t developed a time machine to take us all back to last spring, they have introduced a bill that could “fix” a mistake that was made when a smoking ban was passed without any regard for public opinion.

And not only would it “fix” our mistake, it would prevent any other county in the state without a smoking ban from making the same mistake.

House Majority Whip Mike Caputo and Delegates Tim Manchin and Linda Longstreth, all D-Marion, have sponsored a bill that would require all smoking bans not yet in effect and all future bans to be approved by the state’s county commissions — not the county boards of health. If passed — the bill is now in the House’s Political Subdivisions Committee — that would means that Marion’s smoking ban questionably passed last year would have to be approved by the county commission before it goes into effect.

Last spring in Marion County, the five-member health board revised its 2005 smoking ban by prohibiting smoking in all public places, including bars, fraternal organizations (except at private functions) and limited video lottery parlors. But the health board shamefully never truly sought public comment for this measure.

The amended ordinance was passed March 28 without a public hearing. While the board asked for public comment on the new ordinance, it did so 24 weeks in advance of the vote. On Oct. 11, 2007, and two following days, the board ran 79-word newspaper legal ads about the revision. The ads drew only four comments from the public in response after they were published. Meanwhile, thousands of letters and public meetings were held on similar ordinances in Monongalia and Harrison counties.

Like the delegates who sponsored the bill, the Times West Virginian editorial board has never spoken out against the end result — a ban on smoking — but about about the process by which the ban was passed.

“Right now, it’s badly handled, and I just think that voters have a hard time accepting that a body that is not accountable to the public, to the electorate, can impose these regulations on the county,” Manchin said.

If HB 2932 passes, there would also be concrete notice requirements for public comment and public hearings, and if the county commission fails to act on a ban within a certain number of days, the regulation would become void.

If the bill passes, Marion County residents might actually get a say about the smoking ban — something they’ve been denied for the past year. With the county commission responsible for the ultimate decision, in the hands of the government body it should be open to public discourse instead of passed in the back room of a local restaurant.

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1 comment to Bill that could “fix” a mistake made in a smoking ban

  • Bob

    Since the police will be needed, why not eliminate expensive wasteful duplication and eliminate the health department, having police take over their functions.

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