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


Juvenile tobacco sales up in West Virginia

Rates of tobacco sales to underage customers have been creeping up over the past five years, and state health officials worry that West Virginia could lose millions in federal funding if that trend continues.

“No tobacco is supposed to be sold to kids,” said Bruce Adkins, director of West Virginia’s Division of Tobacco Prevention. “We know, and West Virginia is an example. We have a fairly high rate of illegal sales to youth.”

Random inspections of retailers show that 17.9 percent sold tobacco to minors last year, according to the Fiscal Year 2009 Annual Synar Report for West Virginia. The study is named for former Oklahoma Congressman Michael Synar and federal legislation to ban sales of tobacco products to people younger than 18.

The Fiscal Year 2009 West Virginia data reflected inspections at 458 outlets, of which 82 were found in violation, the study showed.

West Virginia’s retailer violation rate was up from the tenth percentile in 2003, Adkins said. The rate dropped from 16.9 percent in the 2007 report to 14.2 percent in the 2008 report, data showed.

Nationally, average retail violation rates have gone down since 1997, according to the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Web site. Figures on the Web site for Fiscal Year 2007 show a national weighted average rate of 10.5 percent.

If West Virginia’s rates climb above 20 percent then the state could lose 40 percent - or about $3.4 million - of its yearly Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Adkins said.

“It funds a lot of our substance abuse and treatment programs,” Adkins said.

West Virginia exceeded the 20 percent rate in 1999 but was able to reach a settlement with SAMHSA and avoid losing funds, Adkins said.

The Mountain State’s share of the block grants for Fiscal Year 2009 was about $8.7 million, SAMHSA information shows.

The West Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Administration is the enforcement agency for underage tobacco sales. It receives about $200,000 in federal funding annually to work with tobacco prevention groups, retailers and clerks in addressing underage tobacco use, ABCA spokesman Gig Robinson said.

Efforts include conducting undercover compliance checks of retailers, educating clerks and merchants about the importance of carding and the dangers of allowing youth to acquire tobacco, traveling to schools to deliver educational programs and distributing material at fairs and festivals, Robinson said.

Posters have been displayed that highlight new driver’s licenses coded red for people under 18 years of age and blue for those under 21, he said.
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