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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Proposal to Hike Cigarette Tax Shocks Illinois Smokers

Illinois legislators will debate over the provisions of the new budget prior to the end of the current legislative session, which is scheduled to be completed on May 7th.

Among the proposals to be considered by the lawmakers, there is a bill to increase state tax on cigarettes from current 98 cents a pack up to $1.98 a pack of 20 cigarettes.

Last April, the proposal to raise excise tax on cigarette was approved by Illinois Senate after a close vote of 30-26 in favor of the increase. The House vote is expected to be even closer.

Katherine Drear, manager of the Illinois Lung Association praised the proposal, stating it would generate nearly $300 million, which could be used on education, public health or for other important programs.

In conformity with the bill, the revenue generated from the tax hike would be passed to a fund helping state health care system.
However, the legislators from the borderline districts are opposing the tax increase saying it would hurt convenience stores and gas stations in their districts, since residents would direct to neighboring states to stock up on their cigarettes.

State Rep. Pat Verschoore, claimed that several businesses in his district have been hurt dramatically by the federal tax hike and economic downturn.

“In our district next to the border with Iowa the $1 per pack increase could drive the customers from the Illinois to Iowa, thus affecting local stores”, said Rep. Verschoore, adding that the tax increase would create an essential competitive disadvantage for the Illinois businesses.

State Rep. Jil Tracy agreed in opinion with Rep. Verschoore, because in her district, also near the border, would be hit especially hard by the increase.

In addition, she is also against the tax hike, because she doesn’t believe that would prevent local smokers from lighting up.
She said that people would simply go to neighboring state’s stores, because the difference between the price of cigarettes in Illinois and Iowa makes sense for that trip. She added that implementing constant tax increases is not the best way to legislate.
When the Senate vote was held last year, the most heated debates were among Democrats, in major part from Chicago area, who favored the increase, and Republicans from borderline districts, who strongly opposed it.

Katherine Drear stated they carried out a survey among the Illinois voters, which demonstrated that the majority of voters support the cigarette tax increase as a way to reduce the budget deficit.

She mentioned that the surveyed people considered the increase in tobacco taxes to be the most effective way to overcome the shortfall in the budget, as 70 percent of voters supported this measure.

However, many legislators consider that an increase in cigarette excise taxes is not the best way to deal with the budget deficit, and the legislators should better consider the proposals on cutting the expenses, instead of levying more taxes.
The date for the House final vote over the tax increase is not specified yet.

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