Tobacco Pros/Cons

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  • Topic: Tobacco, Christopher Columbus, Tobacco smoking
  • Pages : 2 (430 words )
  • Download(s) : 13
  • Published : April 21, 2013
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Throughout our lives we go through phases full of fascination and experimentation, differing from positive to negative. The majority of these experiences begin either early in childhood, or as young adolescents. “Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. It can be consumed, used as a pesticide and, in the form of nicotine tartrate, used in some medicines” (Stoppler). The topic of tobacco and the chemical nicotine have been highly argued within the United States as to when it should be available to what age group, and whether or not it should be sold and produced at all. “The Old World encountered tobacco at the dawn of the European Age of Exploration. On the morning of October 12, 1492, Christopher Columbus set foot on a small island in the Bahamas. Believing himself to be off the coast of Asia, the Admiral dressed in his best to meet the local inhabitants. The Arawaks offered him some dried leaves as a token of friendship. Those leaves were tobacco. A few days later, a party from Columbus' ship docked off the coast of Cuba and witnessed local peoples there smoking tobacco through Y-shaped tubes which they inserted in their noses, inhaling smoke until they lost consciousness. Early on, the medicinal properties of tobacco were of great interest to Europe. Over a dozen books published around the middle of the sixteenth century mention tobacco as a cure for everything from pains in the joints to epilepsy to plague. As one counsel had it, "Anything that harms a man inwardly from his girdle upward might be removed by a moderate use of the herb" (Cotton). In the beginning Tobacco was looked at as a luxury and used for all kinds of cures. Without the current science and knowledge we have today, people were unaware of the negative effects.

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