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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Blumenthal Pushes for Removal of Menthol Tobacco Products

Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) wrote the Food and Drug Administration today expressing support for their continued work to protect public health through the “removal of menthol cigarettes from the marketplace.”

Blumenthal encouraged the FDA to continue work to follow up on recommendations from a report from the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee (TPSAC) regarding menthol cigarettes.

“Such findings about the dangers of menthol tobacco products in general, and to our youth in particular, are highly concerning, and provide abundant grounds for FDA to develop a plan that will result in the removal of menthol from tobacco products to protect public health,” Blumenthal states in the letter. “It is well documented that the restriction of access to tobacco products directly impacts youth smoking rates and that FDA should take strong action to prevent tobacco companies from using menthol cigarettes to increase the number of youth who smoke.”

The TPSAC Committee found evidence that tobacco companies often include menthol flavors in their products both to entice certain demographics – such as young children and teens – to use tobacco, and to make it harder for them to quit.

Blumenthal has a long record of fighting to protect public health as Attorney General, and helped lead the legal fight against big tobacco culminating in an historic settlement in 1998 which included restrictions on direct tobacco advertising to children, resulting in a dramatic drop in youth smoking rates in Connecticut and around the country.

The text of the letter follows:

April 18, 2011

Margaret Hamburg, M.D.
Commissioner
United States Food and Drug Administration
10903 New Hampshire Ave.
Silver Spring, MD 20993

Dear Dr. Hamburg:

I want to express my strong support for the work of the Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee (TPSAC) regarding menthol cigarettes. I urge FDA to act expeditiously to protect the public health of our nation, and implement the committee’s findings and conclusion that “removal of menthol cigarettes from the marketplace would benefit public health in the United States.”

The TPSAC found clear and compelling evidence that menthol cigarettes have an adverse impact on public health in the United States. By masking the harshness of smoking, menthol cigarettes increase experimentation among youth and heighten the number of youth who transition from experimenters to become regular smokers.

Such findings about the dangers of menthol tobacco products in general, and to our youth in particular, are highly concerning, and provide abundant grounds for FDA to develop a plan that will result in the removal of menthol from tobacco products to protect public health. It is well documented that the restriction of access to tobacco products directly impacts youth smoking rates and that FDA should take strong action to prevent tobacco companies from using menthol cigarettes to increase the number of youth who smoke.

As Connecticut’s Attorney General, I helped to lead the legal fight against big tobacco that led to a historic settlement in 1998 which included restrictions on direct tobacco advertising to children, resulting in a dramatic drop in youth smoking rates in Connecticut and around the country. I urge FDA to continue to build on these efforts, and act on the Committee’s findings regarding the dangers of menthol.

With the 2009 enactment of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, FDA finally gained the needed federal authority to regulate the manufacturing, sale and marketing of tobacco products, and I urge FDA to use its new authority to vigorously and aggressively address the unregulated use of menthol in cigarettes.

Thank you, in advance for your prompt attention to this matter. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me or Rachel Pryor of my staff at (202) 224-2823.

Sincerely,

/s/

Richard Blumenthal
United States Senator

Press Contact
Ty Matsdorf or Kate Hansen, (202) 224-2823
[email protected]; [email protected]

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