N.C. senators’ tobacco plan fails

May 21, 2009

WASHINGTON — A U.S. Senate committee on Wednesday rejected a plan from Sens. Richard Burr and Kay Hagan of North Carolina to avoid tobacco regulation by the Food and Drug Administration.

Burr, a Republican, and Hagan, a Democrat, worked together on their most significant issue yet to protect tobacco farms, manufacturers and companies — an industry of historic importance to North Carolina.

Both sit on the Senate health committee.http://www.newsobserver.com/politics/story/1536111.html

Burr, Hagan oppose tobacco bill

May 20, 2009

WASHINGTON — U.S. senators began debate Tuesday on legislation that would allow the Food and Drug Administration to regulate cigarettes, an idea that has the strong backing of public health advocates across the country.

Standing in their way were the two senators from North Carolina. Republican Richard Burr and Democrat Kay Hagan teamed up for the first significant issue in their short time together in the Senate, offering arguments to weaken the effects of a popular bill that, they fear, could decimate a historic industry in their state.

North Carolina is the nation’s top producer of tobacco, growing $686 million worth of leaf last year on 12,000 farms. The state’s tobacco manufacturers, from the behemoth R.J. Reynolds to boutique companies, put 10,000 people to work.


Burr key tobacco funds recipient

March 23, 2009

The N.C. senator, who backs a regulatory bill favored by the industry, is Congress’ No. 2 recipient of tobacco money.

By Lisa Zagaroli

WASHINGTON lzagaroli@charlotteobserver.com

When Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., stepped forward last week to give his home-state tobacco industry a softer landing if it becomes regulated, he was helping a business that’s given him a boost as well.

Tobacco groups and employees have given $355,000 in campaign contributions to Burr since he first got elected to Congress in 1995, election records shows


The Rising Cost of A Smoke:

March 19, 2009

Perdue’s proposed $1 tax on cigarettes and the 62-cent U.S. levy have smokers feeling overtaxed

By Richard Craver | Journal Reporter
Published: March 19, 2009

Tobacco is no longer a sacred cow in North Carolina.
That’s the conclusion of smokers interviewed yesterday about Gov. Bev Perdue’s proposal to raise the state’s cigarette tax by $1 from 35 cents to $1.35 a pack to help reduce a $3.4 billion budget shortfall.
“This decision is the pits,” Debbie Davis said while dining at the Jimmy the Greek restaurant off University Parkway in Winston-Salem. The restaurant has catered to smokers and nonsmokers for decades.