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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Smoking banned, come 2010

Tuesday’s Student Government Association meeting saw the open dialogue and discussion of two resolutions that will affect Towson’s campus population.


Smoking Ban

The debate is over and the decision has been made. As of August 1, 2010, Towson University will be a smoke-free campus. This means that students, faculty, staff and visitors will not be allowed to smoke anywhere on Towson’s campus.

The language within the smoking policy itself states that the ban is meant to “foster a healthy environment” and to “reduce health risks related to smoking and second-hand smoke for the campus community.”

SGA president Jon Graf explained that there are many schools across the country that have already gone smoke-free, and that Towson is looking to those schools as a model for its own policies. Graf also mentioned that Towson is not the only University in the area to be considering a smoking ban.

“Salisbury is actually in conversations about the decision maybe to go smoke-free there… But I think Towson is, a little bit, leading the way on this one,” Graf said.

However, the final draft of the smoking policy has not yet been approved and raised a few questions from some of the SGA senators. Senator Nicole Kazanecki and Greek Life representative Andrew Chamberry both voiced their concerns over the safety of students who would have to go to the sidewalks bordering campus to smoke.

“Do you think that as soon as we go smoke free that everyone from our campus and everyone from their campus is just going to be huddled on sidewalks?” Kazanecki said.

Graf said this hypothetical was a possibility.

“Safety is a number one concern on this campus. This policy, I would even argue, is about safety,” Graf said. “The Smoke-Free Task Force that the University has established, on which we have student representatives, is addressing those kinds of issues and they’re having those conversations with the police and with all the parties that need to be involved.”

Free Expression Resolution

The SGA, in agreement with a similar vote taken by the University System of Maryland Board of Regents on Sunday, passed a resolution which formally states Towson’s opposition to any further policy that would restrict the free speech rights of students on campus.

“As a council, we took the stance opposing a policy,” USM student council representative Valerie Streets said. “We feel that there was no objective criteria [in the proposed policy], there were no clear definitions, there was no real outline for uniformity [for] the decision-maker as to whether or not the program should need educational components.”

Streets went on to describe another concern of the council.

“There also wasn’t any indication of an outlet for policy review. We feel like if there is a policy, USM or somebody should be reviewing it every year,” she said.

The actual free expression policy, which only would limit which films may be shown on campuses, will not be voted on until December.

There are, however, some who believe the University should put regulations on what can or cannot be shown.

“My concern is that the term ‘freely express themselves’ – that seems very broad,” SGA Senator Emmanuel Welsh said during Tuesday’s meeting. “How far can students express themselves? To what point does the University say, ‘That’s too far?’ Unless [a film] has educational impact, then I don’t think it should be shown on campus.”

Welsh was one of three senators who opposed the resolution.

According to Graf, even though the Board of Regents recently voted to oppose any new regulations regarding free expression, they previously stated that there was a need for such a policy.

“We’re expecting that [the USM is] going to push a policy, still,” Graf said.

“Whether or not the Board is still going to pass a policy, it seems likely, but you never know. If the students all say they don’t want it, maybe they’ll think twice about it.”

By Rachael Sanders, October 15, 2009 Thetowerlight

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