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.

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A smoke-free world

The Longbranch’s McCollum says she wishes “a law would get passed to ban smoking” to ease the transition. In fact, such a regulation is already on the books.

Raleigh instituted a no-smoking ordinance in 1992, prohibiting smoking in “art/entertainment facilities” — defined as “any enclosed facility engaged in the business of exhibiting motion pictures, plays or performances to an audience.” Orange County has a similar ordinance, although it exempts private clubs (which Raleigh’s ordinance does not).

Violations are misdemeanors. But enforcement is virtually non-existent, so smokers pay about as much heed as drivers do to speed limits.

“Nobody’s asked a question about this in our office in several years, as near as I can recall,” says Chapel Hill town attorney Ralph Karpinos.

When asked why Raleigh’s no-smoking ordinance doesn’t seem to be enforced, Raleigh city attorney Tom McCormick answers, “I really couldn’t say.”

One way or another, it seems inevitable that every venue will be smoke-free. It’s already happening elsewhere. Austin, Texas, passed a no-smoking law last year, causing dire predictions of music venues folding by the score. But the sky didn’t fall.

“It turned out a lot better than anybody expected,” says reporter Darcie Stevens, who covered the issue for the Austin Chronicle. “People got used to it pretty quickly. I’m a smoker, and even I enjoy not reeking so much.”

Eric “Roscoe” Ambel plays guitar in Steve Earle’s band, and he also co-owns New York City’s Lakeside Lounge. The Lakeside survived after the city instituted a smoking ban in 2003, but not without taking a hit.

“In New York, a lot of people lost jobs and money,” Ambel says. “Anybody who says their revenue didn’t go down is lying. People used to come to the Lakeside and smoke and drink for two hours. Now they drink for an hour and a half, and they spend a half-hour out on the sidewalk where they can’t drink, smoking. That perfectly represents the 20 to 25 percent loss we’ve had.”

Still, people adjust. Ambel says that when you go into bars in New York now, you’ll see empty chairs with a drink covered by a napkin — which has become the signal for, “This is my chair and my drink, so leave it alone while I’m outside smoking.” And even Ambel allows that the smoking ban has its virtues.

“It’s hurt me in the pocketbook, but the overall thing is still good,” Ambel says. “I don’t smoke, and the first time my band played the Lakeside smoke-free, it was pretty cool to take off the shirt I had on and hang it up in the closet afterward.”

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