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The Great American SmokeOut Options
hedy mmm
Posted: Wednesday, November 8, 2017 12:20:15 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/29/2014
Posts: 1,290
Neurons: 632,218
Location: Borough of Bronx, New York, United States
Did You Know?

Botanists tell us that plants in the nightshade family developed nicotine as a defense against insects that might damage or destroy them. In fact, one of the early uses of tobacco was as an insecticide: in 1690 nicotine was extracted from tobacco leaves and used to kill bugs. In 1773, insect-infested plants were fumigated by blowing tobacco smoke over the plants.

While minor quantities of nicotine may be found in some Old World plants in the nightshade family (Solanaceae) it is concentrated in large amounts only in tobacco. The smoking of dried tobacco leaves began in the Americas and was in wide use by the first century CE. Smoking was usually connected with ceremonies, political occasions, or religious rituals, and tobacco was traded, sold, and offered as gifts. Rodrigo de Jerez, exploring Cuba, adopted the natives' smoking habit and took it home with him. Back in Spain, however, his neighbors were so terrified by the smoke coming out of his mouth and nose that the local Inquisitor sentenced him to seven years in jail. By the time de Jerez got out, everyone in Spain was smoking, and tobacco was on its way to becoming one of the most prized herbs in history. In the American colonies, where a would-be husband was required to fork over 120 pounds of tobacco for his chosen wife's passage, tobacco rapidly became the monetary standard. Tobacco is full of ironies, for while it subsidized the terrible practice of slavery, it also helped to finance the American Revolution and contributed enormously to the new country's growing wealth.

The dried leaves of tobacco were valued for the feeling of well-being that smoking imparted, but it was the herb's medical properties that were most often touted. Physicians and pharmacists claimed it to be a panacea, especially effective in the treatment of headaches, toothache, worms, bad breath, lockjaw, and cancer. In 1603 in England, the physicians wrote an urgent letter to King James I, complaining that the drug was being used without a prescription; the king promptly levied a large import duty on tobacco imports. A few years later, though, addiction was recognized as a serious issue. Sir Frances Bacon wrote that more people than ever were smoking, and that it was next to impossible to quit.

It wasn't until the 1950s, some 500 years after Columbus accepted that first tobacco leaf, that the significant health risks of tobacco consumption were recognized. In 1906, the new Food and Drug Administration put nicotine on the list of drugs, although it was removed after intense lobbying by the powerful tobacco industry. The first tobacco lawsuit, filed by a man who lost his larynx to cancer, was won in 1962; the first second-hand smoke suit was won in 1976. In 1995, the FDA finally declared nicotine a drug.

The Great American SmokeOut (always held on the third Thursday of November) is a day to recognize and acknowledge tobacco as the deadliest herb in human history.

All About Thyme Monthly Calendar for November author Susan Wittig Albert

"God graced us with today....don't waste it." hedy
almo 1
Posted: Wednesday, November 8, 2017 3:04:56 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/16/2016
Posts: 1,253
Neurons: 5,715
Location: Fussa, Tokyo, Japan

I smoked yesterdayDancing

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