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📅 “Did You Know?” #19 - A Deadly Herb Options
hedy mmm
Posted: Tuesday, March 17, 2020 6:28:52 PM

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📅 “Did You Know” #19 - A Deadly Herb

Botanists tell us that nicotine, a deadly alkaloid, was developed by the tobacco plant as a defense against insects that chewed on its leaves. In fact, one of the European uses of tobacco was as an insecticide: in 1690 nicotine was extracted from tobacco leaves and used to kill bugs on other plants. In 1773, insect-infested plants were fumigated by blowing tobacco smoke over the plants.

The practice of smoking tobacco began in the Americas. Visiting Cuba with Columbus in 1492-93, Rodrigo de Jerez 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 decided he was up to some deviltry and sentenced him to seven years in jail. (Steep price to pay for a nicotine high).

Tobacco was a feel-good herb, but it was known to have its sinister side, too. In the early 1600s, Frances Bacon wrote that more people than ever were smoking, and that it was next to impossible to quit. But it wasn’t until some 500 years after Columbus accepted the first tobacco leaf that smoking’s significant health risks were recognized. In 1906, the new Food and Drug Administration put nicotine on its list of drugs, although it was removed after the powerful tobacco industry objected. 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 managed to declare nicotine a dangerous drug.

It shouldn’t be any surprise that nicotine has been used as a murder weapon. The first documented case occurred in Belgium in 1850, where the Count and Countess de Bocarmé found themselves in need of some quick cash and targeted the countess’s younger brother, Gustave Fougnies, who was about to inherit the family fortune. The count suddenly acquired an interest in chemistry and a couple of bales of tobacco leaves. The countess, who never appeared in the kitchen, prepared the dinner herself and invited her brother. After the feast, Fougnies dropped dead. The count and countess announced that he’d had a stroke. The servants, however, were suspicious (wouldn’t you be?) and blew the whistle.

Given the count’s sizable tobacco stash and the countess’s sudden culinary passion, the gendarmerie suspected death-by-nicotine. But there was no test to prove that this deadly plant alkaloid was the murder weapon. That’s when Jean Servais Stas, Belgium’s premier chemist, stepped up, creating the first test to detect plant poison in human tissue. The Stas-Otto method he pioneered is still used by modern toxicologists.

The count and countess were charged with murder. The countess was acquitted when she claimed that her husband forced her to kill her brother. The count was executed on July 19, 1851.

Posted: Tuesday, March 17, 2020 11:28:26 PM

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What is so unusual about this "Deadly Herb" is that the human body is filled with receptors called nicotinic acetylcholine (ACh) receptors that respond to nicotine and are present on all ganglionic neurons and in the Central Nervous System (CNS). Where normally, acetylcholine would bind to the nerve receptors, nicotine binds just as well, and stimulates the nerves in the same way. That's why nicotine becomes so addictive. Nicotinic receptors are found in all the skeletal muscle cells at the nerve junctions, and produces a stimulating effect. Over time, as with any addiction, more is required to achieve the same effect.
Posted: Wednesday, March 18, 2020 1:41:08 AM

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Thanks hedy. It's a really interesting thread!
If I were you I would start with Hemlock. The most infamous poisoning by hemlock is attributed to the Greek philosopher Socrates, who chose a hemlock drink as his preferred means of death—most sources say that he drank it mixed with water or as a tea.
Posted: Friday, March 20, 2020 4:03:04 PM

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By the way, nicotine was used in a murder in lots of criminal stories. A lethal dose for a human is about 0.8 mg per 1 kilos (0,000028 ounce per 2.2 pounds) of body weight.
Ashwin Joshi
Posted: Saturday, March 21, 2020 12:51:47 AM

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Location: Jandiāla Guru, Punjab, India

FDA Approves Sale of Low-Nicotine Cigarettes

Moonlight and Moonlight Menthol cigarettes were given the green light because they contain much less nicotine than traditional cigarettes and they could help adult smokers kick the habit, the FDA said.

"Today's authorization represents the first product to successfully demonstrate the potential for these types of tobacco products to help reduce nicotine dependence among addicted smokers," said Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products.

"Still, we must remain vigilant to ensure that the products authorized today actually deliver on that promise for consumers," he added in an agency news release.

"We'll be closely monitoring how Moonlight and Moonlight Menthol are marketed and will take action as necessary if the company fails to comply with any applicable statutory or regulatory requirements or if there is a notable increase in the number of nonsmokers, including youth, using these products," Zeller said.

But the agency noted that its review of the reduced nicotine cigarettes concluded that nonsmokers, including youth, are unlikely to start using these cigarettes. People who experiment with them are also less likely to become addicted than people who experiment with conventional cigarettes.

On average, conventional cigarettes made in the United States have a nicotine content of 10 to 14 milligrams (mg) per cigarette, compared with between 0.2 to 0.7 mg per cigarette in the two newly approved cigarettes. Both are marketed by 22nd Century Group.

But the approval to sell the cigarettes in the United States does not mean they are safe or "FDA-approved," the FDA noted. The new cigarettes differ from conventional cigarettes in nicotine content only and pose the same health risks as conventional cigarettes.

One smoking cessation expert agreed with that assessment.

"Although the FDA determined that smokers who used the reduced nicotine cigarettes did not smoke more and in some cases decreased the number of cigarettes smoked, my experience with smokers has been that when they try to reduce their nicotine/cigarette intake without using cessation medications, they are generally uncomfortable, experience withdrawal and often return to their normal pattern of smoking or increase the number of cigarettes smoked," said Patricia Folan, director of the Center for Tobacco Control at Northwell Health, in Great Neck, N.Y.

"It will be interesting to see how other smokers who try these reduced nicotine cigarettes react among the general public," she added. "Even though the nicotine levels in these cigarettes are lower, it does not appear that the other thousands of hazardous chemicals in these cigarettes have been reduced."

The FDA move came as the Trump administration weighs a possible ban on flavored e-cigarettes, though Trump has reportedly been backing away from that idea in recent weeks. E-cigarette use among teens has skyrocketed in recent years.

In its announcement Tuesday, the FDA emphasized that, despite this approval, there are no safe tobacco products and people who do not use tobacco products should not start.

"Conventional cigarettes are designed to create and sustain addiction to nicotine," Zeller said.

"In announcing the FDA's comprehensive plan to regulate tobacco and nicotine in July 2017, we noted our commitment to taking actions that will allow more addicted smokers to reduce their dependence and decrease the likelihood that future generations will become addicted to cigarettes," he added.
Posted: Saturday, March 21, 2020 2:05:56 AM
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It is an awful potato. Similarly, Morning Glory and Belladonna are members less resonated.
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