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Running Header: TOBACCO RESEARCH
With over 70 species, Tobacco is a common drug used in the developed countries as
well as the developing ones. The product is made from the curing of tobacco leaves. The
tobacco plant is from the genus of Nicotiana and the family of Solanaceae. The common
species which is used around the world is N. Rustica. The plant has become useful since it
acts as a painkiller as well as a pesticide (Benowitz, 1999).
Origins of the use tobacco can be said to have happened in the highland Andes. The
biogeographical research showed when the first two older species of the plant were used.
Tobacco was distributed long before Spain began colonizing countries. The distribution of
the drug was done in South America during 300 BC. Main Tobacco origins include Central
America and North America. The tobacco seeds were said to have been found at Chiripa
between the 1000-1500BC. The first use of the drug cannot be dated to the same period when
the seeds were discovered. However, the smoking of the drug through the use of drugs can be
dated from 860AD. The smoking practices of the drug were commonly done in North
America. During the same period was when tobacco became a commercialized intoxicant
which would be exploited by the Europeans during the colonial period.
Following the introduction of the drug in the world, the drug was said to start ecstasy
trances which would be experienced by the people who smoked it. Large amounts of the use
of the drug would have brought about hallucinations. Physical changes which were
experienced by the user would be a low heart rate which would lead to someone being in a
catatonic state. The consumption of the drug can be done in various ways which include;
chewing the drug, eating it, enemas, smoking and the sniffing of the drug (Zevin, 1999).
Currently, smoking is the most popular way for the consumption of the drug. In the
ancient times, the plant was seen as a sacred and powerful plant by Maya. The plant was
considered as medicine with its powerful properties linked to the earth and the sky. Hence,
the impact on the ancient society involving the Maya tribe was that the drug was beneficial
and had healing properties (Zevin, 1999).
Tobacco properties will include alkaloid nicotine. The property is found in most
plants belonging to the Nightshade family, but traces of nicotine can also be found in
tomatoes, eggplants and so on. Nicotine which acts as the stimulant is hugely addictive. For
the drug to be consumed by way of smoking through the use of cigars or pipe tobacco, the
tobacco leaves will have to be dried. The drug can be flavored to create shisha tobacco. Dried
tobacco can also be used as a snuff whereas the leave can be chewed or dipped.
A brief history of the traditional use of the drug can be dated back to the periods
between 1400-1000 BC. The drug was grown and used by the Native American tribes who
carried the drug in ...