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.

tocacco

Canadian bill worries Kentucky tobacco growers

An hour and a half after hearing testimony, a Canadian Senate panel in Ottawa last week approved an anti-smoking bill that Kentucky burley tobacco growers fear may be bad for their business.
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The bill, known as “The Cracking Down on Tobacco Marketing Aimed at Youth Act,” passed the Senate Social Affairs, Science and Technology Committee on a voice vote and without amendments. It now awaits final action in the Canadian Senate.

The measure is intended to ban flavored tobacco products in Canada, but burley growers are worried that the bill will end the export of American burley to Canada.

Burley is one of three kinds of tobacco mixed together with additives for blended tobacco. Some Kentucky lawmakers, led by Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-1st District, have written to American and Canadian officials that because the pending bill in the Canadian Parliament prohibits many of the additives used in blended tobacco, the measure effectively bans burley.

With 85 percent of U.S. burley exported, the implications of the Canadian action and possible similar actions by other nations are enormous, the Kentuckians warned.

But the Canadian Senate panel did not change any provisions of the bill, despite warnings that the legislation could close the Rothmans, Benson & Hedges cigarette plant in Quebec, where blended tobacco is used.

Debra Steger, an international trade law expert with Rothmans, said that the blended cigarettes in question don’t have a flavored taste like chocolate or fruit — the real target of the legislation. Canada should focus on banning cigarettes that have flavors, not on additives, she said.

But Cynthia Callard, executive director of Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada, told the Senate committee that the regulations should treat all tobacco products equally and not single out American-style blended cigarettes for special regulation.

An official with Health Canada, the federal government department that deals with health laws, said the new anti-smoking bill would not affect the blended cigarettes that are made in Quebec and then exported.

Whitfield is disappointed in the Canadian Senate panel’s vote, said his spokeswoman, Kristin Walker.
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“Clearly (the bill) is a violation of international trade agreements and Congressman Whitfield anticipates this matter will be taken up with the World Trade Organization,” Walker said. “The congressman is continuing to explore opportunities to put pressure on both the U.S. and Canadian governments to stop this ban on American tobacco products.”
Off the Christmas card list

Taylor Branch’s new book on former President Bill Clinton is in the stores. The Clinton Tapes: Wrestling History with the President, is based on a secret project in which Branch, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, conducted regular taped interviews with Clinton throughout the eight years of his presidency.

Doing the “Washington read” (looking at the index first for names mentioned in the book), we came across a passage on Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky.

Bunning, as you will recall, was a House member until he was elected to the Senate in 1998.

Clinton was being battered by the scandal of his involvement with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, which led to the president’s impeachment by the House on Dec. 19, 1998, just after the November elections. Clinton was acquitted by the Senate on Feb. 12, 1999.

Anyway, on page 519, we read this: “…the president called it a preventable tragedy that Democrats let Rep. Jim Bunning narrowly win the open seat in Kentucky. He said Bunning, a former baseball player, was so mean-spirited that he repulsed even his fellow know-nothings. ‘I tried to work with him a couple of times,’ said Clinton, ‘and he just sent shivers up my spine.’ Mysteriously, the president apologized to me: ‘I know you’re a baseball fan and everything, and you don’t like to hear it, but this guy is beyond the pale.’

Bunning was not upset. In fact, here is a statement he gave us: “I wear it as a badge of honor that I am mentioned in the book as someone who got under President Clinton’s skin. I feel a certain sense of pride that I have such a special place in the heart of a man who dishonored the Oval Office, perjured himself, and was impeached. I might even see if President Clinton would be kind enough to sign a copy for me.”

Three months after his nomination as head of the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration, Joseph Main finally will get his confirmation hearing in the Senate.
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The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee has scheduled the hearing for Wednesday.

Main, a mine safety consultant, was nominated by President Barack Obama in July.

A native of Pennsylvania, Main was a coal miner as a young man. He is the former safety and health chief for the United Mine Workers of America.
Yarmuth at bat

Babe Ruth used one. So did Ty Cobb. And Mickey Mantle, Roberto Clemente, Hank Aaron, Joe DiMaggio and Pee Wee Reese.

Ted Williams, who retired from baseball with a .344 career average, once said this: “I would have been a .290 hitter without Louisville Slugger.”

That and other lore was recalled last week by U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-3rd District, in remarks on the House floor before he and his colleagues unanimously passed a resolution marking the 125th anniversary of the

Louisville Slugger, made by Louisville’s Hillerich & Bradsby.

Sixty percent of Major League players use Louisville Sluggers. Since their introduction to baseball, 100 million Sluggers have been produced by the company, which now has its factory on Main Street.

“Louisvillians take great pride in the fact that the slugger is created in our own backyard, and all of us should take great pride in a company that was built 125 years ago on the American spirit of entrepreneurship and is, itself, now one of our great American icons,” Yarmuth said.

While House rules generally discourage the use of props during speeches (we remember a certain pig nose once sported by the late Rep. Silvio Conte, R-Mass.), Yarmuth got the OK to bring a giant Louisville Slugger bat onto the floor and held it at his side while he spoke. It was taller than he was.

Rep. Lee Terry, R-Neb., who joined in recognizing the anniversary of the Slugger, returned to the microphone with this clarification: “I think for the TV viewers, it’s important to note that Mr. Yarmuth isn’t that short. It’s that the bat is that big.”


October 3, 2009 Courier-journal
Reporter James R. Carroll can be reached at (202) 906-8141.

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