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.


Vermont begin restricting secondhand smoke at workplaces

A bill hitting the floor of the Vermont Senate next week would completely ban cigarette use and other forms of smoking at all workplaces across the state.

Vermont was one of the first states to begin restricting secondhand smoke at workplaces when it passed the Smokefree Workplace Act in 1987 – prohibiting the use of tobacco and other smoking products under most circumstances.

But tobacco-free advocates say that law has loopholes that do allow workplace smoking under some circumstances. The new bill, which is expected to easily find support in the Vermont Senate, would close those loopholes.

Tina Zuk, the coordinator of the Coalition for a Tobacco Free Vermont, said current state law allows workplaces to have indoor smoking rooms under specific conditions. She said this is unfair for nonsmoking workers, who expect that they would not be exposed to secondhand smoke while on the job.

Since Vermont passed its law more than 20 years ago, other states have taken additional steps to cut down on tobacco use at work, Zuk explained. Right now, 23 other states have smoking laws that are more progressive than the regulations in Vermont, she said.

“I don’t think most Vermonters realize that you can still smoke indoors in some workplaces,” Zuk said. “But times have changed. We used to see smoking as something that bothers people, gets in their eyes and makes them smell yucky. We know now that it is also a killer.”

Sen. Kevin Mullin, R-Rutland, a member of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee and one of the sponsors of the bill, said states that have enacted similar laws have seen dramatic decreases in the number of heart attacks – one of the physical fallouts from tobacco use.

Mullin said he believes many employers support this bill because cigarette smokers can sometimes be less productive in the workplace, take more frequent breaks and get sick more often than their nonsmoking co-workers.

“There are lots of benefits to this,” Mullin said. “This makes sense from a health care angle and an economic angle.”

An earlier version of the smokefree workplace bill included a provision that would have also banned smoking in employer-owned vehicles ruffled some feathers in the Vermont Senate is expected to be removed via amendment when it hits the floor for a vote next week.

“That provision really generated some strong discussion,” Zuk said, adding that she was impressed that members of the Senate Health committee added in that language.

Some Vermont employers have prohibited all smoking from their workplaces – including on their property and in company-owned vehicles. Don Mayer, the owner of Small Dog Electronics, said he instituted a company policy 14 years ago to ban all cigarette smoking at his stores and offices.

“It’s important for me, it’s important for my employees and it’s important for the customers,” Mayer said, adding that he also refuses to hire smokers as employees and offers cessation assistance to help workers struggling with their addictions.

Mayer said several cigarette-using employees were upset at the new policy, but he told them to either “quit or quit.”

“Every single employee who smoked chose to quit cigarettes,” he said. “They’ve thanked me ever since.”

The bill, S.7, is expected to be voted on in the Vermont Senate on Tuesday, March 17. An identical bill has been introduced in the Vermont House, but it has not yet had a committee hearing.

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