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Originally posted by raj9721
270 million smokers in the U.S. (1998)
1.3 billion smokers in China (1998)
So lets say there are roughly 300 million smokers in the U.S. today, and a pack of cigarettes costs on average $6.00 ($9.75 where I live)
Current tax rate is $3.00 per pack
Lets say the average american smoker buys a pack every 3 days.
Thats $1.8 billion every 3 days, about $216 billion each year, half of which is government.
So $108 billion is government money, and that was using old statistics and being lenient.
A Cigarette Chemical Packed With Helpful Effects?
By John Schwartz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, November 9, 1998; Page A03
Everyone knows that smoking is bad for you. But not every component of a cigarette is harmful. Take nicotine, the chemical that makes smoking satisfying -- and addictive.
Nicotine serves as a natural insecticide in tobacco leaves. But the drug is relatively benign to humans in normal doses, especially when compared with the thousands of toxins in tobacco smoke.
In fact, nicotine has a wide array of potentially beneficial effects. As a result, today nicotine is being studied as a possible therapy for a broad range of ailments that includes Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, schizophrenia, depression, adult attention deficit disorder, Tourette's syndrome and ulcerative colitis.
A second wave of research, meanwhile, is aimed at developing drugs that mimic nicotine's positive effects but don't produce its negative side effects. (Nicotine not only can cause nausea and rapid heartbeat, it actually tends to burn out the very receptors in the brain that it excites, forcing the brain to create more receptors to keep up.)
"There is a tremendous growth of interest in the nicotine field," said Jed Rose, a Duke University researcher who co-hosts an annual scientific conference devoted to the drug. "There's been a virtual explosion of new findings on every level."
This trend was on display yesterday, when several groups of researchers presented their latest work on nicotine and nicotine-like drugs at the annual Society for Neuroscience conference in Los Angeles. The presentations even included work by scientists at R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. on a drug designed to mimic nicotine's ability to improve memory and learning.
Research on nicotine as a possible treatment for disease got its start a decade ago, as researchers began to notice that smokers suffered less from certain diseases.
Nicotine, however, is not selective. It has many different, often contradictory, effects on the body -- for example, it simultaneously calms smokers and speeds up their heartbeat.
"It's just what we would call a 'dirty drug,' " said Phyllis C. Pugh, a nicotine researcher at the Medical College of Ohio. "It has too many effects."
So researchers are looking beyond nicotine to try to come up with compounds that will act more specifically. Neuroscientist Edward Levin and colleagues at Duke University are working with a nicotine-like compound, AR-R 17779, that appears to improve learning and memory in rats. Levin focuses on what are known as "alpha-7 nicotinic receptors," which are found in great concentrations in the hippocampus, part of the brain important to memory and learning.
Receptors are cellular locks that wait for a chemical with a specific shape to act like a key and trigger functions within the cell. In nicotinic receptors, nicotine fits the locks meant for acetylcholine (ACh), one of the body's natural receptor keys.
When Levin and his colleagues injected rats with the chemical, the rats were able to run mazes more effectively. The researchers then took the study a step further by giving the drug to rats whose memories had been impaired by damaging pathways to the hippocampus. Those rats improved as well -- a hopeful sign for Alzheimer's research because the connection to the hippocampus is often damaged in victims of that disease.
The cigarette conspiracy