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 bans are boosting public health

FORT WORTH — Ryan Johnson enjoys going to restaurants more now that smoking bans protect the air inside local eateries.

He said his food just tastes better — and the atmosphere is better — now that people sitting near him aren’t smoking.cigarettes

Those smoking bans also protect his health, according to a study released Thursday. Such bans in restaurants and other public places help prevent some nonsmokers from having heart attacks, the study says.

“I don’t like to be around it,” said Johnson, 50, of Fort Worth, whose father, a smoker, died from lung cancer. “Why should you put yourself in a situation where someone else’s pleasure could be causing you pain?”

Thursday’s study, by the Institute of Medicine in Washington, D.C., said there’s evidence that breathing secondhand smoke — even for a short time — can increase nonsmokers’ risk of heart problems. An institute committee reviewed data and testimony about secondhand smoke and heart problems, including 11 studies that evaluated the effect of smoking bans on heart attack rates. Those studies showed that heart attacks dropped by 6 to 47 percent with the bans.

“It’s clear that smoking bans work,” said Lynn Goldman, professor of environmental health sciences at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and a member of the committee that wrote the report. “Bans reduce the risk of heart attack in nonsmokers as well as smokers.  . . .  There is no question that smoking bans have a positive health effect.”

Diane Weidmann, an Arlington woman who smokes, doesn’t buy the study’s results.

“I just don’t think there’s enough proof,” Weidmann said. “I don’t believe it — that [secondhand smoke can hurt nonsmokers] from just an hour in a restaurant.

“I think they should segregate [restaurants] and then it’s your choice whether to walk into that restaurant,” she said. “If you feel that way, eat at home.”

Smoking has long been tied to lung cancer, but it can also contribute to heart disease. Breathing secondhand smoke can affect the blood and blood vessels and possibly raise the risk of a heart attack. Secondhand smoke is believed to cause up to 69,600 early deaths of nonsmokers from heart disease each year in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In Texas, a statewide smoking ban failed to pass the Legislature this year, but several cities, including Fort Worth, Arlington and Dallas, have ordinances that ban smoking in some or most public places. At least 21 states have statewide smoking bans.

“The evidence is clear,” said Dr. Thomas Frieden, head of the CDC. “Smoke-free laws don’t hurt business . . . but they prevent heart attacks in nonsmokers.”

ANNA M. TINSLEY, 817-390-7610, Oct. 15, 2009

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