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.
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New York gets mixed grades on tobacco control

ALBANY — New York received failing grades from the American Lung Association Thursday for the amount of money it spends on New Yorktobacco prevention and health care coverage for cessation, but it earned A’s for its smoking laws and cigarette tax.

The Lung Association’s ninth annual State of Tobacco Control report evaluates whether individual states and the federal government are doing what the group considers sufficient to protect people against tobacco-related health problems. Eight states received all F’s and no states got all A’s.

Scott T. Santarella, president and CEO of the American Lung Association in New York, said New York is not doing enough to protect residents.

“While we’re obviously pleased with the progress we’ve made in increasing the state tax on cigarettes and expanding smoke-free areas, the reality is that more than 25,000 New Yorkers are still dying every year from tobacco-caused disease,” he said.

The Lung Association gave the U.S. Food and Drug Administration a B for its regulation of tobacco products, and the federal government a D for $1.01 tax rate on a pack of 20 cigarettes.

The federal government received a C for cessation coverage. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires the majority of private health plans to provide tobacco-cessation treatments. However, Medicaid, a health care program for low-income people, provides only limited coverage.

Dr. Irwin Berlin, chairman of the American Lung Association in New York’s board, said there are too many barriers to treatment in the state.

“We need better coverage for cessation so everyone can access it,” he said.

Berlin, chief of the Pulmonary/Critical Care Medicine Division at Elmhurst Hospital Center in Queens, said he’s witnessed the “grim reality that tobacco use inflicts on patients.”

The state’s Medicaid program provides coverage for medications to help smokers quit, but it covers individual counseling for limited categories of recipients and there are annual limits on quit attempts. More coverage is provided for state employees. There is no mandate for private insurers to cover medications and counseling.

New York’s $69.1 million in funding for tobacco-control programs this fiscal year, which includes $10.7 million in federal money, is 27.2 percent of what the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends, the report said. New York has cut its funding of programs by more than 30 percent since 2007.

New York’s high marks are for its $4.35 per pack cigarette tax and its smoking law, which bans smoking in all public and private facilities except cigar bars and bars that receive economic-hardship waivers. Tribal casinos are exempt.

New York raised its cigarette tax from $2.75 to $4.35 per pack in July 2010 — the highest in the nation — to help balance its budget. That hike will save an estimated 31,000 lives and prevent 23,000 kids from taking up the habit, the group said.

The report grades states on a limited number of categories, and New York’s marks don’t reflect the success the state has had in reducing smoking rates and preventing people from becoming smokers, said Peter Constantakes, a state Health Department spokesman.

Nationally, the average adult smoking rate is 20.6 percent of the population, compared to 18 percent in New York. The rate for students in high school is 19.5 percent in the United States and 14.8 percent in New York.

The latest Health Department statistics show the high school smoking rate has further decreased to 12.6 percent in New York, Constantakes said. In 2000, it was more than 27 percent, he said.

New York’s spending on tobacco control and prevention was $85.5 million in the 2006 and 2007, Constantakes said. But the $58.4 million total this year is still $15 million more than in 2005, he said.

Bill Phelps, a spokesman for Philip Morris USA, said states receive billions of dollars a year in tobacco-settlement payments from tobacco companies. They should use it to fund anti-smoking initiatives. States received a total of $8.8 billion in 2010, he said.

“Not only have the vast majority of those states diverted billions of dollars that many had hoped would be spent on prevention of youth smoking and health programs, now many are seeking tax increases to help fund some of those same programs,” he said.

The decline in state funding means New York has not been able to do as much anti-smoking advertising, said Maureen Kenney, director of the state-funded POW’R Against Tobacco

OW’R Cessation Center, which serves Putnam, Orange, Rockland and Westchester counties. One of the consequences is fewer smokers are getting the message that they should quit and are seeking help, she said.

By Cara Matthews
Albany Bureau

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