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

tocacco
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$1.4M haul of cigarettes sets record

Federal agents from Cornwall have made the biggest illegal cigarette bust in Smugglers’ Alley history, a $1.4-million haul of more than 13 million black market smokes.

It’s a sign of just how lucrative Tobacco Road is once again on the Akwesasne/St. Regis reserve, straddling the Ontario, Quebec and New York borders, and from where police believe much of the $900-million contraband market emanates.

All roads from the U.S. St. Regis side of the international Mohawk reserve lead to the nearby St. Lawrence River. And just a few hundred metres away lies one of the most heavily tobacco-taxed — and relatively unguarded — countries in the world: Canada.

The record bust happened April 29, after officers from the Canadian Border Services Agency spotted people loading boxes of contraband smokes into a tractor-trailer parked outside a home on Hunter’s Road, south of Finch and just north of Long Sault.

RCMP arrived on the scene just as the tuck was about to pull away. Inside they found 65,700 cartons or resealable bags of contraband cigarettes. Each carton contains 200 cigarettes and has a street value of $22.

Brands included Signal Menthol, Signal Full Flavor, Signal Lights, Discount Lights, Discount Full Flavor, DK’s Full Flavor and Putter’s Lights.

“It’s a record seizure for our detachment,” Cornwall RCMP Sgt. Michael Harvey said in an interview Monday. By comparison, in a “good” month, Cornwall RCMP will seize about 40,000 cartons.

Inside the house, police also found 125 marijuana plants.

A 54-year-old Cornwall man, two Long Sault men, aged 38 and 19, are to appear in court in July in connection with the smokes. Their names have not been released by police. A man and woman living in the house are under investigation in connection with the pot plants.

The cigarettes, meanwhile, were shredded and buried in a local landfill Thursday. Samples and photographs are to be entered as evidence in court.

Police believe the cigarettes were smuggled by criminal organizations in cars and vans to the Finch-area loading point. From Eastern Ontario, police said they were to be delivered to distributors in Kingston and west to Toronto.

“Unfortunately, the public is still fuelling the illicit tobacco trade,” said Sgt. Harvey. “They believe they’re sticking it to the taxman when, in fact, they’re giving profits to organized crime, clandestine drug labs,” weapons and alcohol.

The RCMP and CBSA conduct many joint surveillance projects in the area.

A recently released study for cigarette manufacturers found about 30 per cent of tobacco purchased in Canada is bought illegally. In Quebec and Ontario, where most of the problem lies, the rates hover around 40 per cent and 50 per cent, respectively. The problem is getting worse, and an estimated 13 billion illegal cigarettes were bought in 2008, up from 10 billion a year earlier.

Tobacco companies lose out on about $900 million a year due to smuggled, counterfeit and other illegal tobacco products. Convenience stores and other retailers miss sales and, between the federal and provincial governments, an estimated $2.4 billion is lost in tax revenue. Beyond the financial costs, critics say more action is required because of the public safety and health risks associated with contraband cigarettes.

Often sold in baggies for as little as $6 for 200 cigarettes, they come with no health warnings or ingredient listings. Young people who buy them are not asked for identification, as stores selling legal tobacco are required to do.

The federal government last May set up an interdepartmental task force involving Health Canada, the RCMP, CBSA, Canada Revenue Agency, Finance Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, and Indian Affairs and Northern Development Canada. The RCMP also launched a contraband tobacco enforcement strategy.

© Copyright: The Ottawa Citizen

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