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 industry under fire

Tobacco industry’s invasion into Africa has been described as ruthless and insidious in its pursuits of creating markets in developing countries. This emphasis was made in Maputo, Mozambique capital during a one day stakeholders’ forum hosted by Africa Tobacco Control Regional Initiative, ATCRI, and Framework Convention Alliance, FCA.

The forum accused tobacco companies of taking advantage of the less stringent tobacco control laws in Africa, thereby making it a target for tobacco product.

Bontle Mbongwe, a lecturer at the University of Botswana said the tobacco industry is capitalizing on the legislative shortcoming in Africa to “aggressively advertise and market poison and death to the population.”

Mbongwe observes that the tobacco industry is succeeding to invest in legal actions to silence those who make noise about the harmful effect of tobacco and the poverty it brings to the already poor nations.

“Tobacco countries also exploit pooper countries by issuing donations to ensure the support of politicians as well as manipulating scientific evidence to confuse consumers. While the industry benefits from huge profit the customers has a sad reality to face premature death,” she noted.

The forum which was a common ground to discuss the progress of African countries in tobacco control through the determinant of actual tobacco control situation in Mozambique warns of a global pandemic if tobacco consumption in Africa is not put under serious check.

Dr. Patrick Musavuli, afro regional coordinator of the Framework Convention Alliance provides a shocking statistics from a medical standpoint. Drawn from a quote from World Health Organizations, WHO Director General, Musavuli says “we can no longer standby quietly and watch the spread of an epidemic that is already killing 4 million people a year and is set to cause 10million deaths annually by 2030”

Musavuli insists that African government must now stand for the health of its citizens through the implementation of a WHO framework Convention on Tobacco Control, FCTC, a document which prescribes guidelines for the control of tobacco products consumption and cultivation.

Many African countries have signed and ratified the Framework Convention document but the issue of implementation of the content is one of the biggest challenges in Africa. In some cases the question of economy and health always comes to mind but in such consideration the cost of health care far outweighs the economic gain derived from tobacco products.

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