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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Smoking ban bill being blocked from Senate vote

Lance Armstrong is half a world away racing in Italy in his comeback to professional cycling.

Back home in Texas, the world’s most famous cancer survivor’s foundation is on the verge of losing its top priority of the legislative session: a statewide ban on smoking in most public places, including bars and restaurants.

The woman standing in the way of a Senate vote is Sen. Jane Nelson, a Flower Mound Republican who joined Armstrong on the Capitol steps in February in a pledge to support it.

Nelson, chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, has not allowed a vote on the bill, frustrating supporters who considered her advocacy a major boost in getting the bill passed into law.

“I have asked over and over again,” said Sen. Rodney Ellis, the Houston Democrat sponsoring the measure. Ellis said Wednesday that Republican Gov. Rick Perry said he’d allow the bill to become law if it gets to his desk.

Perry spokeswoman Allison Castle said she was unaware of any conversation the governor had with Ellis, but said Perry would review the smoking ban bill if and when it reaches his desk.

Nelson said she still supports the bill and that there’s time to address it before the session ends June 1.

“Everybody wants to panic,” Nelson said. “Things may shake loose very soon.”

Asked why she hasn’t allowed a vote, Nelson said she and Ellis had “an agreement” but wouldn’t elaborate.

The smoking ban proposal has pitted anti-smoking and cancer groups, who call it a public health issue, against civil libertarians and bar owners who say it would infringe on private property rights.

The Lance Armstrong Foundation is one of the high-profile members of Smoke-Free Texas coalition supporting the ban. According to the coalition, secondhand smoke kills 53,000 nonsmoking Americans every year and is a known cause of lung cancer, heart disease, low birth weight and chronic lung ailments.

Two dozen states have already enacted some smoke-free laws 14 others are considering them, the coalition says. Dozens of Texas cities already have local ordinances limiting smoking in public, but several efforts at a statewide crackdown have failed in recent years.

Getting a Senate vote doesn’t guarantee the bill will ultimately pass this time either.

While Ellis says he’s got the votes to send it to the House, that chamber slugged out a tough vote in 2007 before passing a weakened version that died in the Senate. The current House version is also waiting a committee vote.

That’s why supporters of the ban consider Nelson’s help to be the key to getting it passed this year. Two years ago, she campaigned with Armstrong to support Proposition 15, a $3 billion cancer research plan.

Even Republican Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who presides over the Senate, has prodded Nelson to bring the bill to a vote with no success.

Kirsten Voinis, spokeswoman for Smoke-Free Texas, a coalition that includes the American Cancer Society and the Lance Armstrong Foundation, urged a vote in both chambers but noted Nelson’s previous support on cancer issues.

“This smoke-free legislation is an easy way to make inroads against cancer in our state,” Voinis said. “We urge both chairmen to listen to the majority of Texans who want smoke-free workplaces and vote these bills out of committee, and we urge Senator Nelson to continue her commitment to reducing cancer in Texas. We are confident there are the votes in the Legislature to create a smoke-free Texas.”

When she introduced Armstrong at the February rally at the Capitol, Nelson said, “without his relentless advocacy we would not have been able to pass that initiative and with his help we are going to pass this as well.”

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