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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Cigarette Retailers Sue to Block Rule Requiring Antismoking Posters

The nation’s three big tobacco companies, and trade associations representing hundreds of New York City bodegas and convenience smoking imagestores, are challenging the city’s latest salvo in the antismoking wars: graphic images of diseased brains, lungs and teeth that are posted where cigarettes are sold.

The tobacco companies — Philip Morris, Lorillard and R. J. Reynolds — joined with the New York State Association of Convenience Stores and retailers in filing a federal lawsuit against the city in an effort to remove the gruesome placards from about 11,500 establishments. Since late last year, the city has required the retailers to post them within three inches of cash registers or in each place where tobacco products are displayed.

The suit, filed on Wednesday in United States District Court in Manhattan, contends that the placard rule infringes on the federal government’s authority to regulate cigarette advertising and warnings and violates the First Amendment rights of store owners who disagree with their message, and that the placards are so disgusting that they hurt business by discouraging people from buying not only cigarettes but also more-wholesome merchandise like milk and sandwiches.

“This is not the city taking out a billboard, which it would have every right to do,” Floyd Abrams, a First Amendment lawyer who is representing the convenience stores, said Friday. “What it doesn’t have the right to do is to force other people to adopt its expression.”

The suit also complains that because of heavy restrictions on cigarette advertising, advertising space near the cash register is one of the last places where companies can promote their brands.

By putting ugly posters there instead, the suit says, the city is blocking tobacco companies from communicating with consumers, depriving retailers of coveted advertising revenue and pushing restrictions on tobacco-related speech “past the constitutional tipping point.”

In a statement, the city’s health department said that putting warnings where cigarettes were sold was one of the most effective ways to deter people from smoking and to discourage a new generation of smokers. “By trying to suppress this educational campaign,” the statement said, “the tobacco industry is signaling its desire to keep kids in the dark.”

The city has spent $80,000 to print and distribute the signs in the eight months since the law was adopted. They are based on research that shows pictures are much more effective at conveying the hazards of smoking than written text, according to the health department.

The suit received a mixed reception on Friday at the Corner News convenience store at 40th Street and Eighth Avenue in Manhattan.

Maria Roman, 35, a customer-service representative, barely glanced at the poster of a bloody tooth, stuck to the cash register, as she paid for a package of candy. To her, she said, the poster seemed perfectly factual. “It’s the truth,” she said, shrugging. “It’s just a visualization of what’s actually happening.”

John Pae, 58, a chef, said he generally resented government intrusions into his life but was even angrier about high cigarette taxes and a proposed soda tax, because they affected his wallet.

He said that he had called the city’s 311 hotline to help him quit smoking about two and a half months ago, but that the nicotine patches the city provided were so cheap that they had to be held on with duct tape. He has since bought patches at a drugstore.

“Everything pushed me to quit — taxes, getting older, the effect on my health,” Mr. Pae said. But he conceded that the city’s 311 smoking-cessation program, which he saw advertised on television, “made it easier.”

A clerk at the store, Saiful Islam, said a photograph on the cash register, of a diseased tooth, was so upsetting that some customers had switched from buying cigarettes to buying candy or gum. Many of them were spending as much on soda, candy and lottery tickets as they had on cigarettes, he said, so the store had not lost business.

He said the taxes that had pushed the price of a pack of cigarettes to $10 were worse for business than the posters, because they led people to buy cigarettes on the black market — which he said thrived on the sidewalk right outside the store.

Nytimes: June 4, 2010

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