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.

tocacco Cigarettes are smoking products consumed by people and made out of cut tobacco leaves. Cigars are typically composed completely of whole-leaf tobacco. A cigarette has smaller size, composed of processed leaf, and white paper wrapping. The term cigarette refers to a tobacco cigarette too but it can apply to similar devices containing other herbs, such as cannabis.

Predictable response to alcohol report

Doug Sellman and Jennie Connor take issue with Roger Kerr’s “dismissal” of the Law Commission’s alcohol report.

Roger Kerr’s disdainful dismissal (5.5.10) of the Law Commission’s report Alcohol in our lives: curbing the harm is of course entirely predictable.

Roger Kerr is a spokesperson for “business”.

In this case it is the alcohol industry he is defending - an industry which, like the primal tobacco industry before it, will fight to the death to maintain profits, even when that profit comes at the price of mayhem, suffering and death.

The only people likely to lose when the key recommendations from this “tour de force” are put in place are those who peddle this drug.

The industry’s shareholders are likely to see the writing on the wall well in advance of the decline.

Heavy drinkers and risky drinkers will reduce their intake with benefits for themselves, their families and the communities they live in, and low-risk drinkers will hardly notice any impact on their own drinking habits at all.

The Palmer report will be viewed in future decades as a document that changed New Zealand’s history for the better.

The government that enacts the key recommendations will be lauded in the history books as truly great leaders.

In contrast, Mr Kerr and his friends will come to be viewed in similar fashion to the self-interested, amoral way tobacco industry heads are appropriately now judged.

Remember, they used to be considered to be as respectable as the alcohol industry currently is, and have the same influence on the corridors of power that the alcohol industry still enjoys.

There are three policies that the alcohol industry fears the most.

We know this because they’ve carefully outlined them in their own internal documents.

These documents came to light following successful tobacco litigation - there are strong synergies between Big Booze and Big Tobacco.

These three policies are tax increases on alcohol, restrictions on advertising of alcohol, and decreasing the blood alcohol concentration for legal driving.

It is not surprising, therefore, that Mr Kerr has singled out the proposed increase in excise tax by the Law Commission for much of his vitriol.

According to the international evidence available, excise tax increases are the most effective method a government has at its disposal to reduce alcohol-related problems, with minimum pricing in place for optimal effectiveness.

Mr Kerr knows the risk to the big businesses he represents and so has come out swinging.

Mr Kerr uses the familiar tactic of calling for more research and more analysis.

alcohol and smoking

His demand for a regulatory impact statement is simply a bid to stall the process.

The tobacco industry used this tactic for decades while smokers died from tobacco-related diseases in their droves.

The alcohol industry will now play for time while New Zealand’s heavy drinking culture continues to damage heavy drinkers as well as thousands of their innocent victims.

Mr Kerr has targeted excise tax increases.

There are others working on persuading the Government that more research is required before lowering the drink driving BAC levels, despite the substantial extant body of research supporting a lowering to 0.05.

And, for the trifecta, behind the scenes industry lobbyists are working to maintain the right to tell white lies about alcohol through marketing and advertising.

Marketing is the linchpin in maintaining New Zealand’s heavy drinking culture, selling us stories about the importance of alcohol for a successful, happy life, while avoiding any truthful health information on alcohol beverage containers, such as warning young women about the neurotoxic impact of alcohol on their unborn children throughout pregnancy.

Sir Geoffrey Palmer begins his strongly reasoned blueprint for change by referring to the “unbridled commercialisation” of alcohol.

The Government has a fundamental duty to curb excessive business activity involving all dangerous products that can cause great harm to its citizens - tobacco, gambling, guns, and alcohol.

There is a vast and growing number of New Zealanders waiting with considerable anticipation the Government’s response to this report.

It contains the solutions to one of the most important social issues of our time.

Prof Doug Sellman, University of Otago, Christchurch, and Prof Jennie Connor, University of Otago, Dunedin, are medical spokespeople for Alcohol Action NZ.

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