History of Smoking

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Information about History of Smoking
Health & Medicine

Published on March 12, 2014

Author: baharcufadar




HEADINGS • In The Beginning • The New World Discovered (1400-1700) • Tobacco: A Growth Industry(1700-1900) • War & Cigarettes: A Deadly Combo(1900-1960) • Health Hazards Revealed!(1960-1980) • The Recent Past(1980-present)

IN THE BEGINING • Tobacco is a plant that grows natively in North and South America. It is in the same family as the potato, pepper and the poisonous nightshade. It is a very deadly plant. • It is believed that Tobacco began growing in the America about 6,000 B.C.

THE NEW WORLD DISCOVERED (1400-1700) • On October 15, 1492, Christopher Columbus was offered dried tobacco leaves as a gift from the American Indians that he encountered. Soon after, sailors brought tobacco back to Europe, and the plant was being grown all over Europe.

During the 1600's, tobacco was so popular that it was frequently used as money. Tobacco was literally "as good as gold!"

TOBACCO: A GROWTH INDUSTRY (1700-1900) • In 1826, the pure form of nicotine is finally discovered. Soon after, scientists conclude that nicotine is a dangerous poison. • In 1836, New Englander Samuel Green stated that tobacco is an insecticide, a poison, and can kill a man. • In 1847, the famous Phillip Morris was established and sold hand rolled Turkish cigarettes. Soon after in 1849, J.E. Liggett and his brother were established in St. Louis.


In 1875, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company (better known for its reynolds wrap aluminum foil) was established to produce chewing tobacco. • Cigarettes in the U.S. were mainly made from scraps left over after the production of other tobacco products, especially chewing tobacco. Chewing tobacco became quite popular at this time with the "cowboys" of the American west.

WAR & CIGARETTES: A DEADLY COMBO (1900-1960) • The use of cigarette exploded during World War I (1914-1918). • Cigarettes were called the "soldier's smoke".

American tobacco company -maker of the Lucky Strike brand- began to market its cigarette to women and gained 38% of the market. Smoking rates among female teenagers soon triple during the years between 1925-1935. • In 1923, Camel controled 45% of the U.S. Market. In 1924, Phillip Morris began to market Marlboro as a woman's cigarette that was a "Mild as May"

• During World War II (1939-1945), cigarette sales were in all time high. Cigarettes were included in a soldier's C-Rations (like food). Tobacco companies sent millions of cigarettes to the soldiers for free, and when these soldiers came home, the companies had a steady stream of loyal customers.

During the 1950's, more and more evidence was surfacing that smoking was linked to lung cancer. Although the tobacco industry denied such health hazards, they promoted new products which were safer such as those with lower tar and filtered cigarettes. • In 1952, P. Lorillard markets its Kent brand with the Micronite Filter which contained asbestos. That was fortunately discontinued in 1956.


In 1965, television cigarette ads were taken off the air in Great Britain. In 1966, those health warnings on cigarette packs began popping up.

In 1977, the first national Great American Smokeout took place. • In 1971, television ads for cigarettes were finally taken off the air in the U.S. Cigarettes, however, are still the most heavily advertised product second to automobiles.

THE RECENT PAST (1980-PRESENT) • During the 1980's there were many lawsuits filed against the tobacco industry because of the harmful effects of its products. Smoking became politically incorrect with more public places forbidding smoking.

• In 1982, the Surgeon General’s Report that second hand smoke may cause lung cancer. Smoking in public areas were soon restricted, especially at the workplace.

• In 1985, lung cancer became the first killer of women, beat out breast cancer.

• In 1987, Congress banned smoking on all domestic flights lasting less than 2 hours. In 1990, Smoking was banned on all domestic flights except to Alaska and Hawaii. • During the 80's and 90's, the tobacco industry started marketing heavily in areas outside the U.S., especially developing countries in Asia.

• In recent years, there is growing evidence that the tobacco industry has known all along that cigarettes are harmful, but continued to market and sell them. There is also evidence that they knew that nicotine was addictive and exploited this hidden knowledge to get millions of people hooked on this dangerous habit. SOURCES



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