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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Tobacco Companies Defend Use of Menthol in Cigarettes

WASHINGTON—Officials from the top makers of menthol cigarettes defended their products Wednesday before a Food and Drug Administration panel that is trying to determine whether the cigarettes’ minty additive lures people into smoking and makes it harder for them to quit.

Representatives of Altria Group Inc., Lorillard Inc. and Reynolds American Inc., citing public literature, told the panel that menthol cigarettes aren’t more harmful than traditional cigarettes and don’t induce people to smoke.

The industry officials spoke during the second day of a two-day meeting on the public-health effects of menthol in cigarettes. The panel is trying to help the FDA to determine how to regulate menthol cigarettes, which account for roughly one-third of the $70 billion U.S. cigarette market. The main issue is whether menthol cigarettes are different from traditional cigarettes, and, if so, should menthol be banned as other tobacco flavorings already are. The industry’s stance, echoed by several company representatives, is that cigarettes containing menthol are no different and aren’t more or less harmful than regular cigarettes.

“This isn’t the tobacco industry’s spin; the data is the data,” said Jonathan D. Heck of Newport cigarette-maker Lorillard. Mr. Heck is one of three industry, nonvoting members on the panel.

The industry avoided directly answering the most charged questions, including one from Patricia Nez Henderson, the panel’s public representative, about whether menthol masks the harmful effects of smoking.

“We were here to talk about the scientific information,” said James Dillard, a senior vice president at Altria, parent company of Marlboro cigarette maker Philip Morris. He added, “We’re not in the best position today to talk about that.”

Mr. Dillard said the industry would be willing to entertain all direct questions from the FDA in preparation for the next meeting of the panel, expected to be sometime in the summer.

Ms. Henderson also pressed a representative from Camel cigarettes maker RJ Reynolds on whether menthol is considered a flavoring.

“It is an ingredient by definition of the act and does have flavor,” said RJR’s Michael Ogden, referring to the tobacco act. “So, yes.”

Most flavorings are already banned from being used in tobacco as part of tobacco legislation signed into law last year amid concerns that flavorings lure children to smoke. While menthol is considered a flavoring by many people, it avoided being banned by Congress.

Phillip Gardiner, of the University of California, who spoke during the public-hearing portion of the meeting, said he didn’t understand why menthol wasn’t outlawed. “There’s no reason they shouldn’t outlaw menthol; it’s the same logic,” he said. Menthol is derived from mint plants and many smokers say it helps to give cigarettes a soothing, minty-like flavor.

At Tuesday’s hearing, panel members heard from multiple government health officials on the health effects of menthol, and much of the information was mixed.

An analyst from Concept Capital, summing up Tuesday’s meeting in a note to investors, said: “We did not see a dagger to the heart of menthol revealed—at least not on day one.”

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