Paper Example on History of Tobacco Use

Published: 2023-08-09
Paper Example on History of Tobacco Use
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  History Christopher Columbus Public health Substance abuse Essays by pagecount
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 1029 words
9 min read

The cultivation of tobacco is traced back to 5,000 BC, whereas its usage has been recorded for over 8,000 years. Cultivation of tobacco began at almost the same time that maize farming emerged in Central Mexico. Remains of cultivated tobacco have been identified through radioactive methods between 1400 BC and 1000 BC in New Mexico (Mackay et al., 2017). Ancient users of tobacco are Native Americans who used it for medicinal purposes and during religious activities. Therefore, the main aim of this article examining its history of smoking and its possible solutions to its addiction.

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History of Tobacco Use

As mentioned early, ancient users of tobacco alluded it to religious ceremonies and its ability to heal diseases. For instance, early users claim that smoking could cure ay common illness such as wounds, toothaches, or relieving any other form of pain. In the late fourteenth century, Christopher Columbus was given tobacco as a gift during his return to Europe. As a result, tobacco use was welcomed in Europe and spread so fast due to the belief that it had high magical and healing powers. The early 17th century was led by scientific research on the effects of tobacco use (Schauer et al., 2017). Scientists realized that tobacco caused the users to develop breathing problems that were later figured as lung cancer. As a result, Massachusetts State passed a law that prohibited the public smoking of tobacco in 1632 (Schauer et al., 2017). The first tobacco company was established in 1762 by Pierre Lorillard, which began processing cigars and snuffs (Brandt, 2012). The company has lasted for the past 200 years and is the largest in U.S history. The growing use of tobacco led to scientific research on the chemical composition of smoke and its side effects.

The development of cigarettes came to existence in the 1900s. It was the most-sold tobacco products in the U.S. For instance, in 1901, over 3.5 million cigarettes were sold, leading to a rise in the establishment of tobacco companies (Mackay et al., 2013). With time, the tobacco industry gained a lot of power within the United States. Severe health effects were realized by in Surgeon General’s report of 1964 (Mackay et al., 2013). As a result, the United States government had to act by regulating the usage and sale of tobacco. The mortality rate among women in the U.S increased by 1985 as a result of tobacco usage, which caused lung cancer (Mackay et al., 2013). Breast cancer cases were lesser than those of lung cancer in women during this time. The past twenty years have witnessed increasing demands for tobacco products as a result of developed marketing strategies by emerging companies. Product differentiation strategies have led to the improved harmful chemical composition in the tobacco products despite the enormous sales made. Newmarket niches are identified as children become the most recent targets for the purchase and use of tobacco.

Tobacco Use Control Strategies and the Effects

Increasing the Price of Tobacco Products

One of the ways that any government can mitigate tobacco usage ids by hiking the prices. Governments can impose high taxes on tobacco products, which implies that producers will effect higher prices on the products. As a result, there will be quit attempts or reduced usage of tobacco on the users. The initiative will also reduce the number of youths intending to use tobacco. As a positive impact, increasing tobacco product prices by 20 cents per unit has a significant effect on health costs (Schauer et al., 2017). The increase is likely to cause health savings of $90 .02 per capita annually (Schauer et al., 2017). Conversely, addicts of tobacco will suffer the price surge, thus may fall into criminal activities like drug trafficking or theft to facilitate their desires.

Initiating Policies Smoke-Free

Policies that inhibit the public smoking of tobacco products have significantly reduced the number of second-hand exposure cases. As a result, most companies have created smoking zones for tobacco users. Also, such policies ensure that indoor air quality is fresh enough for all members of a household (Brandt, 2012). Mainly, government rules provide that youths and young adults are not initiated into smoking against their will. Smokers have reported struggles with addiction as a result of the implemented anti-smoking policies. Fewer hospitalization cases of asthma and heart attack cases have been reported among non-smokers.

Civic Education

The anti-tobacco activists have led mass-media campaigns that urge the public against tobacco use. The campaigns are led by topics such as the effects of tobacco on the economy and personal health. Reports show that many individuals have reported reduced tobacco use from the headlines received from such campaigns (Bernaitis et al., 2017). Tobacco users have willingly come out in large numbers to the cessation and rehabilitation services fostered by such campaigners. As a result, young people have been warned and refrained from tobacco usage.

Conclusively, the history of tobacco dates back to 5,000BC among the Native Americans. Ancient users of tobacco did so for religious and medicinal purposes. However, current users have done so for pleasure. Smoking cigarettes has various adverse effects, such as lung cancer, dependency, heart attacks, and asthma. The U.S government recognizes that despite the health issues, a complete ban on tobacco would lead to loss of revenue as the industry is a significant contributor to the gross domestic product. Therefore, mitigating tobacco users achieved through higher product prices, civic education, and comprehensive smoke-free policies.


Bernaitis, N., Ching, C. K., Chen, L., Hon, J. S., Teo, S. C., Davey, A. K., & Anoopkumar-Dukie, S. (2017). The sex, age, medical history, treatment, tobacco use, and race risk (SAMe TT2R2) score predict warfarin control in a Singaporean population. Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases, 26(1), 64-69.

Brandt, A. M. (2012). Inventing conflicts of interest: a history of tobacco industry tactics. American journal of public health, 102(1), 63-71.

Mackay, J., Ritthiphakdee, B., & Reddy, K. S. (2013). Tobacco control in Asia. The Lancet, 381(9877), 1581-1587.

Schauer, G. L., King, B. A., & McAfee, T. A. (2017). Prevalence, correlates, and trends in tobacco use and cessation among current, former, and never adult marijuana users with a history of tobacco use, 2005–2014. Addictive behaviors, 73, 165-171.

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