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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Congress Passes Measure on Tobacco Regulation

The House moved quickly Friday to pass the Senate’s tobacco bill and send it to the White House, where President Obama promised to sign it.

Mr. Obama, who himself has struggled to quit smoking, said the measure would “protect our kids and improve our public health.” Appearing in the Rose Garden just moments after the House vote, he said the tobacco legislation was “a bill that truly defines changes in Washington” and one that “changes the way Washington works and who it works for.”

The law would for the first time give the Food and Drug Administration the authority to regulate tobacco products, which kill more than 400,000 people in this country each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The House vote on Friday was 307 to 97, and followed Senate passage of the measure 79 to 17 on Thursday. A key to Senate passage was a vote earlier in the week to overcome a filibuster, by a two-vote margin.

Under the law, the F.D.A. will be able to set product standards and ban some chemicals in tobacco products, but not totally ban addictive nicotine. The F.D.A. will set up a new tobacco regulatory office financed by industry fees, which are expected to be $85 million in the first year and as much as $700 million annually within 10 years.

The F.D.A. would have the power not only to consider changing existing products, but also to ban new products unless the agency found they contributed to overall public health.

The F.D.A. is charged with imposing a ban within 15 months on tobacco advertising within 1,000 feet of schools and playgrounds, a measure that is likely to draw court challenges from the tobacco industry, saying it violates the First Amendment.

Also, within one year, the industry will be banned from claiming products are “light,” “mild” or “low tar,” terms that have been found to mislead smokers into thinking the products are safer when they are not.

The law provides that by 2012, new, graphic warning labels must be designed and approved by the F.D.A. and occupy 50 percent of the space on each package of cigarettes. According to David Adelman, a tobacco industry analyst for Morgan Stanley, the larger warning is a key part of the new legislation, exposing the industry to increased financial risk through lower sales.

“The newer warning label requirement in the Senate bill could compromise the graphics appearance of all U.S. cigarette brands,” Mr. Adelman wrote in a note to investors on Friday.

The Senate required a larger warning than the one provided for in a bill the House had previously passed and required that it contain “color graphics depicting the negative health consequences of smoking.” That is likely to include photographs of cancerous and diseased tissue, similar to those that run on cigarette packs in Canada.

Seeking to combat youth smoking — Mr. Obama noted that an additional 1,000 or so Americans under the age of 18 become regular smokers each day — the legislation will quickly ban most flavoring in tobacco and raise penalties for sales of tobacco to under-age buyers.

But in a political compromise, it exempted one flavoring, menthol, which masks the harshness of tobacco and accounts for about one-quarter of the market.

Some antismoking groups, particularly those representing African-Americans, had wanted the law’s ban on tobacco flavorings to include menthol. Mentholated brands are preferred by three-quarters of black smokers, who also have a disproportionate share of lung cancer.

Menthol is to be studied by the F.D.A. by 2011, though, and the agency will have the power to ban it, if the evidence warrants.

The tobacco legislation was supported by the Altria Group — the parent of Philip Morris, which produces the dominant Marlboro brand — and was opposed by other major cigarette makers, which argued it would protect Philip Morris and stifle innovation.

Last year, the House passed similar legislation, but the Senate did not act in the closing weeks of Congress in the fall. At the time, President George W. Bush threatened a veto.

Antismoking advocacy groups like the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network were praising Congress on Friday.

“This bill is proof positive that the tobacco industry is no longer running the show on Capitol Hill and that the health of Americans is a top priority for our elected officials,” the group’s chief executive, John R. Seffrin, said in a statement.
© Nytimes

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