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Nicotine And Tobacco Essay

821 words - 3 pages

One out of three people who use tobacco will die from it. Nearly 3,000young Americans each day become regular smokers. Of these, 1,000 will die earlyfrom tobacco-related diseases. More Americans die due to complications fromsmoking than from any other major killer such as AIDS, car accidents, drug abuseand homicide. Why do so many people continue to smoke when they know thepossible risks involved? Many have become addicted to cigarettes because of theaddictive substance, nicotine, which cigarettes contain. How much did tobaccocompanies know about this addictive substance, and what is their defense formaking addicts of their customers? Also, do people realize how much money theyare actually spending on cigarettes? These reasons and many more are the reasontobacco is so addictive (www.tc.bmjjournals) Nicotine, the chemical substancefound in tobacco leaves, is recognized as a highly addictive drug. Tobaccooriginated from the Western Hemisphere and eventually spread to Europe byexplorers such as Columbus. In the early 1600's the colonists introduced tobaccoto America, and eventually it became one of the major crop and tradingcommodities of the Jamestown colony. Unfortunately people were not aware of theadverse affects of tobacco until the 1960's. Since the public has been informedabout the possible health risks of smoking, over 38 million people have quitsmoking. Matherne 2 However, 50 million Americans, regardless of the medicalresearch, continue to put their health at risk. (www.historian.org) Thecigarette manufacturers used a series of unscientific techniques to make peoplebe skeptic about the addictivness of nicotine. The manufacturers invented adefinition of addictiveness, which said, addiction is "intoxication,tolerance and a physical dependency that was manifested bywithdrawal"(www.tc.bmjjournals). Because smokers are not intoxicated, theindustry argued that it was ridiculous to concur that nicotine was addictive.The tobacco industry also falsely claimed that because smokers can quite ontheir own that it is impossible to be addictive. However, they failed to notethat no scientific authority on addiction ever considered being able to quit onyour own an attribute for a non-addictive substance (www.tc.bmjjournals).According to the FDA, "many heroin addicts become abstinent by themselves,and more than three-quarters of recovered alcoholics in a recent survey achievedsuccess without formal treatment (www.tc.bmjjournals). Another erroneousstatement made by cigarette companies is that because smokers do not use"ever-increasing amounts to achieve a desired effect," than nicotinedoes not influence tolerance. Despite the manufacturer's feeble attempt tomanipulate the facts, the truth is that over a third of occasional...

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