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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FDA regulation of tobacco products is a significant move forward

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is on the verge of controlling the manufacturing and marketing of cigarettes and other tobacco products.

This is big.

This will have more impact than the 1971 ban against tobacco advertising on radio and television. It will eclipse the industry’s $206 billion lawsuit settlement with the states in 1998.

The surgeon general declared tobacco a health hazard in 1964. It is unconscionable that for 45 years the substance considered the leading cause of preventable death was virtually the last unregulated consumable U.S. product.

The House and Senate have signed off on legislation that outlaws the use of the terms “light” and “low tar”; bans the use of fruit and candy flavorings to make tobacco products more palatable to children; strengthens warning labels; and requires FDA approval for new products. Advertising and store displays will be restricted to stark black-and-white text.

President Barack Obama, who has struggled with his own nicotine addiction, has said he plans to sign it immediately.

The Congressional Budget Office predicts the new law will decrease youth smoking incrementally by 11 percent and adult smoking by 2 percent, independent of reductions in use that result from higher excise taxes and public smoking restrictions.

But the bigger impact is the disclosure and regulation of cigarettes’ estimated 60 carcinogens and 4,000 toxins. The FDA will have the ability to make the products less deadly for current users.

Obama’s signature will culminate the decade-long legislative battle on Capitol Hill. The tobacco companies have spent $308 million to defeat the bill.

David Kessler, FDA commissioner from 1990 to 1997, tried to claim the power to control the industry. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2000 that only Congress could give the agency regulatory authority. When he was president, George W. Bush threatened to veto the legislation if it ever reached his desk.

It’s ironic that one of the bill’s biggest proponents was Philip Morris. Other tobacco makers say the legislation allows that company to cement its position as the industry leader because of the advertising restrictions. But all of the tobacco companies have proven resilient under ever-growing restrictions because their customers are physically and psychologically addicted to the products.

The bill creates an FDA tobacco control center, funded with new fees paid by the companies. It’s an inadequate argument by legislators from tobacco-growing states and industry lobbyists that the FDA is too busy to properly regulate the industry.

Lorillard, the No. 2 cigarette manufacturer, issued this statement: “Congress should not be burdening the FDA with a new responsibility over a multibillion-dollar industry when it is failing presently to preserve its core mission.”

Attempting to save the lives of some of the more than 400,000 people killed annually by tobacco-related health problems is the ultimate expression of its mission.

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1 comment to FDA regulation of tobacco products is a significant move forward

  • Mike

    Are people really that blind? Let’s look at this for a second. . . .

    The House and Senate have signed off on legislation that outlaws the use of the terms “light” and “low tar”;

    -Really not a big deal either way. Labels are already placed on all Marlboros that note Light is not in reference to health, but taste, but whatever.

    bans the use of fruit and candy flavorings to make tobacco products more palatable to children

    -Children don’t smoke because it’s “tasty.” This is the most flawed premise i’ve seen. Let’s look for a real and OBVIOUS reasoning. 1) Phillip Morris was the only big name Tobacco Industry to support the bill 2) Phillip Morris ONLY offers regular or Menthol flavored cigarettes

    Need I say more? What this effectively will do is deny cigar smokers the right to enjoy flavored cigars and deny Hookah smokers the right to their flavored tobacco. Might I ask where pipe tobacco falls into play here?

    strengthens warning labels; and requires FDA approval for new products

    -Because people are ignorant to the health effects of cigarettes? How about we just remove all labeling from the box besides the company logo and write “this product WILL kill you” over, and over, and over.

    Advertising and store displays will be restricted to stark black-and-white text.

    I wasn’t thinking about smoking until i saw that picture of Joe Camel the other day. Man, he is so cool . . .. .. .. . (/sarcasm off)

    Phillip Morris 1
    All other tobacco companies 0

    Basically, here’s the kicker. With the right to regulate tobacco, the FDA very well could force the tobacco companies to reduce the amount of nicotine per cigarette, to promote public health. Better yet, the tobacco companies could manipulate the public opinion and reduce the nicotine content. While this sounds like a good thing, smokers will have to increase the numerical amount of cigarettes they smoke in order for effect, and will increase revenue for these companies.

    But people don’t think these out do they? Once you pull away the smoke and mirrors, it equates to 1) Phillip Morris gaining more control in the tobacco industry 2) cigar/pipe/hookah smokers being forced to abandon their hobby by law
    3) Little to NO effect on public health.

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