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 cheap cigarettes smoking, snuffing, chewing, dipping tobacco, or snus.

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Health and Human Services estimate the costs of secondhand smoke

Department of Health and Human Services puts a dollar estimate on the costs of secondhand smoke.

The report, which was released Monday, estimates $288.8 million is spent each year in the state to treat health conditions caused by exposure to secondhand smoke. Dr. Marcus Plescia, chief of the Chronic Disease and Injury Section of the N.C. Division of Public Health, said the study provided the first look at the health care costs of secondhand smoke in North Carolina.

Among the diseases caused by secondhand smoke, as indicated in a 2006 report by the U.S. Surgeon General, are lung cancer, heart attacks and others. Even children and infants can be affected by low birth weight, acute lower respiratory illness, ear infections and asthma. All told, at least 107,067 North Carolinians are treated for conditions associated with secondhand smoke yearly.

Plescia presented the study’s findings Tuesday during a meeting of the Judiciary I Committee. That group of legislators will first weigh in on the bill. The study reinforces the importance for the committee - and the entire General Assembly - to pass the bill, which should be signed by Gov. Bev Perdue.

The bill would not ban smoking. Smokers would still be able to smoke in their own homes and vehicles and on their property. However, it would ban smoking in public places like restaurants and workplaces. It would also allow local governments to pass smoking bans tougher than the state’s.

More and more places are prohibiting smoking, including hospitals, restaurants and schools. Davidson County Community College will become a smoke-free campus on July 31. The ban will also affect DCCC’s satellite locations.

Those who oppose smoking bans typically say such decisions should be left to individual establishments. It would be best if business owners acknowledged the risks from secondhand smoke and took such action. However, too often that doesn’t happen, so government has a role to step in and push for such bans to improve people’s health and also reduce the state’s health care costs, a critical goal during the budget crisis North Carolina is facing.

The issue is a personal one for Holliman, a lung cancer survivor whose sister died from the disease. He has continued his fight to reduce secondhand smoke despite being unsuccessful during previous sessions of the General Assembly. That effort is now entering its fifth year. As more studies are published, and more people favor bans on smoking in public places, the chance for the bill to finally become law is improving.

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