The Negative Effects of Smoking

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For about two years I had the opportunity to live and work in San Francisco. I was assigned to work with the Chinese community. I had never been to San Francisco before and I didn't know exactly what to expect. One of the biggest differences between San Francisco and where I grew up is the smell. I noticed that no matter where I went in San Francisco I could always smell two things; Chinese food and cigarette smoke. Because I worked with the Chinese people I learned a lot about Chinese food. I remember having learned about cigarettes and tobacco in classes that I had in Jr. High and High school. I also remember seeing those commercials on T.V. that said "Get the truth about smoking" and would often show what smoking does to certain organs in the body. Once they showed an aorta and they squeezed a yellow cottage cheese looking substance out of it and said that this substance was a result of smoking. I thought it would be interesting to research smoking and the negative effects it has and learn just how much damage it causes. In the past century we have learned a ton about smoking and what it really does to the human body.

The first tobacco manufacturing center was in Seville, Spain where early cigarettes were made up of scraps from discarded cigar butts, snuff dust, and pipe dottle, all wrapped in scraps of paper. It was called the "paper cigar" and was considered to be a cheap way to smoke for beggars and those who couldn't afford cigars. After 1800 cigarettes moved to Portugal, Italy and southern Russia. The French began producing them in 1843. British soldiers encountered Russians smoking during the Crimean War and brought them back to London. Sometime in the 1850's, Robert Peacock Gloag and Philip Morris started the first British cigarette factories that manufactured cigarettes made from a smoke cured Turkish tobacco called Latakia. Around this same time Americans visiting England brought these British cigarettes back home to the United States when they returned.(Hirschfelder, p.80)

Before the U.S. Civil War, the only cigarettes known to be in the United States came from England and a small portion came from Cuba. After the Civil War, small scale manufacturing of cigarettes began in New York where hand rollers from Russia and Poland made long cigarettes that were first labeled "Turkish" with "Russian" tips. After 1870 a shop that was operated by the Bedrossian brothers used a blend of domestic bright tobacco leaf and Latakia in their cigarettes. Soon to follow, New York and Richmond, Virginia manufacturers created new blends. By the year 1877 there were at least 121 different brands registered with the government tax authorities. In 1881, cigarettes were produced by hand mostly by European immigrants. The process was not only difficult but expensive as well. Even the well trained workers could only make or exceed 4 per minutes at top speed. (Hirschfelder, p.80)

Inventors had been working and designing cigarette making machines as early as 1867. In that same year the Paris Exhibition had a machine called the Susini which could make around 3,600 cigarettes an hour. Albert Hooks in 1872 created a machine that could make cigarettes but they were all loosely packed and irregularly shaped. Two years later in 1874 the Abadie Company in Paris received a patent on their machine although it failed in its test run. James Bonsack of Virginia in 1881 announced a device he created that used a three stage process and promised to be able to produce at least 200 cigarettes a minute.(Hirschfelder, p.80) Several other machines were invented in the 1880's and due to mass production by these machines, cigarette prices were kept low. By 1930 cigarettes eclipsed every other tobacco product.

Most people know that Nicotine is found in cigarettes but they don't know a whole lot about it except that it's very addicting. Nicotine belongs to the same class of compounds as cocaine and morphine. Tobacco plants actually produce nicotine...
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