is an agricultural
product processed from the
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 most commonly appears in
the forms of smoking
, or snus
. Tobacco has long been in use as an entheogen
in the Americas. However, upon the
arrival of Europeans
in North America, it
quickly became popularized as a trade item and as a recreational
popularization led to the development of the southern economy of
States until it gave way to cotton.
American Civil War
, a change in
demand and a change in labor force allowed for the development of
. This new product quickly
led to the growth of tobacco companies, until the scientific
controversy of the mid-1900s.
There are many species of tobacco, which are all encompassed by the
plant genus Nicotiana
. The word nicotiana
well as nicotine
) was named in
honor of Jean Nicot
, French ambassador to
Portugal, who in 1559 sent it as a medicine to the court of
Catherine de Medici
Because of the addictive properties of nicotine, tolerance
develop. Absorption quantity,
frequency, and speed of tobacco consumption are believed to be
directly related to biological strength of nicotine dependence,
, and tolerance. The usage of
tobacco is an activity that is practiced by some 1.1 billion
people, and up to 1/3 of the adult population. The World Health Organization
it to be the leading preventable cause of death worldwide and
estimates that it currently causes 5.4 million deaths per year.
Rates of smoking have leveled off or declined in developed countries
, however they
continue to rise in developing
Tobacco is cultivated similarly to other agricultural products.
are sown in cold
or hotbeds to prevent attacks from insects, and then
transplanted into the fields. Tobacco is an annual crop, which is
usually harvested mechanically or by hand. After harvest, tobacco
is stored for curing, which allows for the slow oxidation
and degradation of carotenoids
. This allows for the agricultural
product to take on properties that are usually attributed to the
"smoothness" of the smoke. Following this, tobacco is packed into
its various forms of consumption, which include smoking, chewing,
sniffing, and so on.
Spanish word "tabaco" is thought to have its origin in
Arawakan language, particularly, in the
Taino language of the Caribbean.
In Taino, it was said to refer either to a
roll of tobacco leaves (according to Bartolome de Las Casas
, 1552), or to
, a kind of Y-shaped pipe
for sniffing tobacco smoke (according to Oviedo; with the leaves
themselves being referred to as cohiba
However, similar words in Spanish and Italian were commonly used
from 1410 to define medicinal herbs
originating from the Arabic
, a word reportedly dating to the 9th century, as
the name of various herbs.
Tobacco had already long been used in the Americas when European
settlers arrived and introduced the practice to Europe, where it
became popular. At high doses, tobacco can become hallucinogenic
accordingly, Native Americans never used the drug recreationally
. Instead, it was often
consumed as an entheogen
; among some
tribes, this was done only by experienced shamans
. Eastern North American tribes would carry large amounts of
tobacco in pouches as a readily accepted trade item, and would
often smoke it in pipes
, either in
defined ceremonies that were considered sacred, or to seal a
bargain, and they would smoke it at such occasions in all stages of
life, even in childhood. It is believed that tobacco is a gift from
the Creator and that the exhaled tobacco smoke carries one's
thoughts and prayers to heaven
Following the arrival of the Europeans, tobacco became increasingly
popular as a trade item. It fostered the economy for the southern
United States until it was replaced by cotton. Following the
American civil war, a change in demand and a change in labor force
allowed inventor James Bonsack
create a machine which automated cigarette production.
This increase in production allowed tremendous growth in the
tobacco industry until the scientific revelations of the
Following the scientific revelations of the mid-1900s, tobacco
became condemned as a health hazard, and eventually became
encompassed as a cause for cancer, as well as other respiratory and
circulatory diseases. This led to the Tobacco Master Settlement
(MSA) which settled the lawsuit in exchange for a
combination of yearly payments to the states and voluntary
restrictions on advertising and marketing of tobacco
In the 1970s, Brown &
cross-bred a strain of tobacco to produce Y1
. This strain of tobacco contained an
unusually high amount of nicotine, nearly doubling its content from
3.2-3.5% to 6.5%. In the 1990s, this prompted the Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) to use this strain as evidence that tobacco companies
manipulating the nicotine content of cigarettes
In 2003, in response to growth of tobacco use in developing
countries, the World Health Organization (WHO) successfully rallied
168 countries to sign the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
The Convention is designed to push for effective legislation and
its enforcement in all countries to reduce the harmful effects of
tobacco. This led to the development of tobacco cessation
Tobacco flower, leaves, and buds
There are many species of tobacco, which are encompassed by the
genus of herbs Nicotiana
. It is part of the nightshade
) indigenous to North
, south west
and the South
Many plants contain nicotine
, a powerful
, that is particularly harmful
. However, tobaccos contain a
higher concentration of nicotine than most other plants. Unlike
many other Solanaceae, they do not contain tropane alkaloids
, which are often
poisonous to humans and other animals.
Despite containing enough nicotine and other compounds such as
and other piperidine
alkaloids (varying between species) to
deter most herbivores
, a number of such
animals have evolved
the ability to feed on
species without being harmed. Nonetheless,
tobacco is unpalatable to many species, and therefore some tobacco
plants (chiefly tree tobacco
) have become established as invasive weeds
in some places.
There are a number of types of tobacco including, but are not
fire-cured, it is cured by smoke from open fires.
United States, it is grown in northern middle Tennessee, central
Kentucky and in Virginia.
tobacco grown in Kentucky and Tennessee are used in some chewing tobaccos, moist snuff,
some cigarettes, and as a condiment in pipe tobacco blends.
Another fire-cured tobacco is Latakia, which is produced from oriental
varieties of N. tabacum. The leaves are cured and smoked over
smoldering fires of local hardwoods and aromatic shrubs in Cyprus and Syria.
tobacco, Brightleaf is commonly known as "Virginia
tobacco", often regardless of the state in which they are planted.
Prior to the American Civil War,
most tobacco grown in the US was fire-cured dark-leaf. This type of
tobacco was planted in fertile lowlands, used a robust variety of
leaf, and was either fire cured or air cured. Most Canadian
cigarettes are made from 100% pure Virginia tobacco.
tobacco, is an air-cured tobacco used primarily for
cigarette production. In the U.S., burley
tobacco plants are started from palletized seeds placed in
polystyrene trays floated on a bed of fertilized water in March or
- Cavendish is
more a process of curing and a method of cutting tobacco than a
type. The processing and the cut are used to bring out the natural
sweet taste in the tobacco. Cavendish can be produced from any tobacco
type, but is usually one of, or a blend of Kentucky, Virginia, and
burley, and is most commonly used
for pipe tobacco and cigars.
- Criollo tobacco
is a type of tobacco, primarily used in the making of cigars. It was, by most accounts, one of the original
Cuban tobaccos that emerged around the time of Columbus.
- Dokham, is a tobacco
originally grown in Iran, mixed with
leaves, bark, and herbs for smoking in a midwakh.
tobacco, is a sun-cured, highly aromatic, small-leafed
tabacum) that is grown in Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, and Macedonia. Originally grown in regions historically
part of the Ottoman Empire, it is
also known as "oriental". Many of the early brands of cigarettes
were made mostly or entirely of Turkish tobacco; today, its main
use is in blends of pipe and especially cigarette tobacco (a
typical American cigarette is a blend of bright Virginia, burley
- Perique, a farmer
called Pierre Chenet is credited with first turning this local
tobacco into the Perique in 1824 through the technique of
pressure-fermentation. Considered the truffle of pipe
tobaccos, it is used as a component in many blended pipe tobaccos,
but is too strong to be smoked pure. At one time, the freshly moist
Perique was also chewed, but none is now sold for this purpose. It
is typically blended with pure Virginia to lend spice, strength,
and coolness to the blend.
- Shade tobacco, is
cultivated in Connecticut and Massachusetts. Early Connecticut colonists acquired from the Native Americans the
habit of smoking tobacco in pipes, and began cultivating the plant
commercially, even though the Puritans
referred to it as the "evil weed". The industry has weathered some
major catastrophes, including a
devastating hailstorm in 1929, and an epidemic
of brown spot fungus in 2000, but is now in danger of disappearing
altogether, given the value of the land to real estate
- White burley, in
1865, George Webb of Brown County, Ohio planted red
burley seeds he had purchased, and
found that a few of the seedlings had a whitish, sickly
look. The air-cured leaf was found to be more mild than
other types of tobacco.
- Wild tobacco, is
native to the southwestern United States, Mexico, and parts
of South America. Its botanical
name is Nicotiana rustica.
- Y1 is a strain of
tobacco cross-bred by Brown & Williamson in the 1970s
to obtain an unusually high nicotine
content. In the 1990s, the United States Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) used it as evidence that tobacco
companies were intentionally manipulating the nicotine content
Smoking in public was for a long time something reserved for men,
and when done by women was sometimes associated with promiscuity
. In Japan during the Edo period
, prostitutes and their clients would
often approach one another under the guise of offering a smoke, and
the same was true for 19th century Europe.
Following the American Civil War
the usage of tobacco, primarily in cigarettes, became associated
and power, and is an
iconic image associated with the stereotypical capitalist
. Today, tobacco is often rejected;
this has spawned quitting associations and anti-smoking campaigns.
Bhutan is the only
country in the world where tobacco sales are illegal.
Research is limited mainly to tobacco smoking, which has been
studied the more extensively than any other form of consumption. As
of 2000, smoking is practiced by some 1.22 billion people, of which
men are more likely to smoke than women (however the gender gap
declines with age), poor more likely than rich, and people in
developing countries or transitional economies are more likely than
people in developed countries. As of 2004, the World Health Organization
reports that of the 58.8 million deaths to occur globally, 5.4
million are tobacco-attributed.
Tobacco use leads most commonly to diseases affecting the heart and
lungs, with smoking being a major risk factor for heart attacks
, chronic obstructive
(particularly lung cancer
, cancers of the larynx and mouth
The World Health
estimates that tobacco caused 5.4 million deaths
in 2004 and 100 million deaths over the course of the 20th century.
Similarly, the United States Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention
describes tobacco use as "the single
most important preventable risk to human health in developed
countries and an important cause of premature death
Rates of smoking have leveled off or declined in the developed
world. Smoking rates in the United States have dropped by half from
1965 to 2006, falling from 42% to 20.8% in adults. In the
developing world, tobacco consumption is rising by 3.4% per
When the market for tobacco reduced in the West, the industry
looked to India and China for 'emerging markets'. Dr. Sharad Vaidya
, a cancer surgeon worked
tirelessly to fight this, through research, advocacy and passion.
He successfully raised awareness, introduced it in the curriculum
of children and managed to establish legislation banning public
smoking, stopping sports sponsorship, sale to minors (<21
years-="" an="" age="" suggested="" by="" Jayant="" Vaidya=""
starting in Goa.
"Much of the disease burden and premature mortality attributable to
tobacco use disproportionately affect the poor", and of the 1.22
billion smokers, 1 billion of them live in developing or
In Indonesia, the lowest income group spends 15% of its total
expenditures on tobacco. In Egypt, more than 10% of households
expediture in low-income homes is on tobacco. The poorest 20% of
households in Mexico spend 11% of their income on tobacco.
The tobacco lobby gives money to politicians to vote in favor of
deregulating tobacco. It is estimated that the United States
tobacco lobby spends an average of $106,415 each day legislature
meets; however the industry lost its support when the U.S. National
Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) filed charges against the
Tobacco Institute, a tobacco industry advocacy group. This resulted
in the Master Settlement Agreement, which forced the organization
to disband and place all records on a website.
Tobacco is cultivated similar to other agricultural products.
were at first quickly scattered onto the
soil. However, young plants came under increasing attack from
or Epitrix pubescens
), which caused destruction of half
the tobacco crops in United States in 1876. By 1890 successful
experiments were conducted that placed the plant in a frame covered
by thin fabric. Today, tobacco is sown in cold frames
or hotbeds, as their germination
is activated by light.
States, tobacco is often fertilized with the mineral
apatite, which partially starves the plant
of nitrogen, to produce a
more desired flavor.
Apatite, however, contains radium
, lead 210, and polonium 210 — which are known
After the plants have reached relative maturity, they are
transplanted into the fields, in which a relatively large hole is
created in the tilled earth with a tobacco peg. Various mechanical
tobacco planters were invented in the nineteenth and twentieth
centuries to automate the process: making the hole, fertilizing it,
guiding the plant in — all in one motion.
Tobacco is cultivated annually, and can be harvested
in several ways. In the oldest method, the
entire plant is harvested at once by cutting off the stalk at the
ground with a sickle. In the nineteenth century, bright tobacco
began to be harvested by pulling individual leaves off the stalk as
they ripened. The leaves ripen from the ground upwards, so a field
of tobacco may go through several so-called "pullings," more
commonly known as topping (topping always refers to the removal of
the tobacco flower before the leaves are systematically removed
and, eventually, entirely harvested. As the industrial revolution
took hold, harvesting wagons used to transport leaves were equipped
with man-powered stringers, an apparatus which used twine to attach
leaves to a pole. In modern times, large fields are harvested
mechanically or by hand, although topping the flower and in some
cases the plucking of immature leaves is still done by hand.
Curing and subsequent aging allow for the slow oxidation
and degradation of carotenoids
in tobacco leaf. This produces
certain compounds in the tobacco leaves, and gives a sweet hay,
, rose oil
, or fruity
aromatic flavor that contributes to the "smoothness" of the smoke.
Starch is converted to sugar, which glycates
protein, and is oxidized into advanced glycation endproducts
(AGEs), a caramelization
also adds flavor. Inhalation of these AGEs in tobacco smoke
contributes to atherosclerosis
. Levels of AGE's is dependent on the
curing method used.
Tobacco can be cured through several methods which include but are
not limited to:
- Air cured
tobacco is hung in well-ventilated barns and allowed to dry over a
period of four to eight weeks. Air-cured tobacco is low in sugar,
which gives the tobacco smoke a light, sweet flavor, and high in
nicotine. Cigar and burley tobaccos are air cured.
cured tobacco is hung in large barns where fires of
hardwoods are kept on continuous or intermittent low smoulder and
takes between three days and ten weeks, depending on the process
and the tobacco. . Fire curing produces a tobacco low in sugar and
high in nicotine. Pipe tobacco, chewing tobacco, and snuff are fire
cured tobacco was originally strung onto tobacco
sticks, which were hung from tier-poles in curing barns (Aus:
kilns, also traditionally called Oasts). These barns have flues which run from
externally fed fire boxes, heat-curing the tobacco without exposing
it to smoke, slowly raising the temperature over the course of the
curing. The process will generally take about a week. This method
produces cigarette tobacco that is high in sugar and has medium to
high levels of nicotine.
tobacco dries uncovered in the sun. This method is used in Turkey,
Greece and other Mediterranean countries to produce oriental
tobacco. Sun-cured tobacco is low in sugar and nicotine and is used
Tobacco is consumed in many forms and through a number of different
methods. Below are examples including, but not limited to, such
forms and usage.
- Beedi are thin, often
flavored, south Asian cigarettes made of tobacco wrapped in a tendu
leaf, and secured with colored thread at one end.
- Chewing tobacco
is one of the oldest ways of consuming tobacco leaves. It is
consumed orally, in two forms: through sweetened strands, or in a
shredded form. When consuming the long sweetened strands, the
tobacco is lightly chewed and compacted into a ball. When consuming
the shredded tobacco, small amounts are placed at the bottom lip,
between the gum and the teeth, where it is gently compacted, thus
it can oftentimes be called dipping tobacco. Both methods
stimulate the saliva glands, which led to the development of the
- Cigars are tightly rolled
bundle of dried and fermented tobacco which is ignited so that its
smoke may be drawn into the smoker's mouth.
- Cigarettes are a
product consumed through the inhalation of smoke and manufactured
from cured and finely cut tobacco leaves and reconstituted tobacco,
often combined with other additives, then rolled or stuffed into a
- Creamy snuffs are
tobacco paste, consisting of tobacco, clove oil, glycerin,
spearmint, menthol, and camphor, and sold in a toothpaste tube.
marketed mainly to women in India, and is
known by the brand names Ipco (made by Asha Industries), Denobac,
Tona, Ganesh. It
is locally known as "mishri" in some parts of Maharashtra.
tobaccos are a form of smokeless tobacco. Dip is
occasionally referred to as "chew", and because of this, it is
commonly confused with chewing
tobacco, which encompasses a wider range of products. A small
clump of dip is 'pinched' out of the tin and placed between the
lower or upper lip and gums.
cigarette is an alternative to tobacco smoking,
although no tobacco is consumed. It is a battery-powered device
that provides inhaled doses of nicotine by delivering a vaporized
propylene glycol/nicotine solution.
- Gutka is a preparation of
crushed betel nut, tobacco, and sweet or savory flavorings. It is
manufactured in India and exported to a few other countries. A mild
stimulant, it is sold across India in small, individual-size
- Hookah is a single or
multi-stemmed (often glass-based) water pipe for smoking.
Originally from India, the hookah has gained immense popularity,
especially in the Middle East. A hookah operates by water
filtration and indirect heat. It can be used for smoking herbal
fruits or cannabis.
- Kreteks are cigarettes
made with a complex blend of tobacco, cloves and a flavoring
"sauce". It was first introduced in the 1880s
in Kudus, Java, to deliver the medicinal eugenol of cloves to the lungs.
often called rollies or roll ups, are very popular, particularly in
European countries. These are prepared from loose tobacco,
cigarette papers and filters all bought separately. They are
usually much cheaper to make.
smoking typically consists of a small chamber (the
bowl) for the combustion of the tobacco to be smoked and a thin
stem (shank) that ends in a mouthpiece (the bit). Shredded pieces
of tobacco are placed into the chamber and ignited.
- Snuff is a generic term
for fine-ground smokeless tobacco products. Originally the term
referred only to dry snuff, a fine tan dust popular mainly in the
eighteenth century. Snuff powder originated in the UK town of
Harwood, and was famously ground in the town's monument
prior to local distribution and transport further up north to
Scotland. There are two major varieties which include
European (dry) and American (moist); although American snuff is
often referred to as dipping tobacco.
- Snus is steam-cured moist
powder tobacco product that is not
fermented, and does not induce salivation. It is consumed by
placing it in the mouth against the gums for an extended period of
time. It is a form of snuff that is used in a
manner similar to American dipping
tobacco, but does not require regular spitting.
- Topical tobacco
paste is sometimes recommended as a treatment for
wasp, hornet, fire ant, scorpion, and
bee stings. An amount equivalent to the
contents of a cigarette is mashed in a cup with about a 0.5 to 1
teaspoon of water to make a paste that is then applied to the
- Tobacco water is
a traditional organic insecticide used in domestic gardening. Tobacco dust can be used similarly. It
is produced by boiling strong tobacco in water, or by steeping the
tobacco in water for a longer period. When cooled, the mixture can
be applied as a spray, or 'painted' on to the leaves of garden
plants, where it will prove deadly to insects.
- colonia 13 509 Heading: 1550–1575 Tobacco, Europe.
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- eg. Heckewelder, History, Manners and Customs of the Indian
Nations who Once Inhabited Pennsylvania, p. 149 ff.
- "They smoke with excessive eagerness ... men, women, girls
and boys, all find their keenest pleasure in this way." -
Dièreville describing the Mi'kmaq, c. 1699 in Port Royal.
- Tobacco: A Study of Its Consumption in the United
States, Jack Jacob Gottsegen, 1940, p. 107.
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First Nonsmoking Nation,Slate.com
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- The Global
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College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences Cooperative
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