Introduction

Tobacco is a common name for plants that belong to the night shadow family and are grown for their leaves. The chapter educates the readers on the uses of tobacco and its side effects.

Talking of Tobacco

Tobacco is among the world’s foremost commercial non-food crops today. The plants grow 1 to 3 metres tall and yield 10 to 20 broad leaves, that are dried and processed into cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco.

It is believed that Christopher Columbus and his crew discovered people smoking tobacco leaves for leisure on the island of Tobago in 1492. Since then, the practice of smoking has spread to various communities around the globe. As a result, smoking became a large business at the expense of one’s health.

The plant’s nicotine is prevalently employed as an insecticide in agriculture. Because refined tobacco seed oil does not contain nicotine, it can be used as a groundnut oil alternative. Tobacco was used to treat gastrointestinal diseases.

More Harm than Good

There are about 4000 compounds in smoke, 43 of which are harmful. These include irritants like ammonia, formaldehyde, and nitrogen oxides, as well as compounds like polycyclic hydrocarbons. Carbon monoxide is also present, which binds to haemoglobin and lowers oxygen-carrying ability. Nicotine is the main component, and it is toxic to the nervous system. 

It’s tremendously addicting, and it raises your heart rate and causes hypertension. It is a silent killer since it causes cancer and other ailments. Lung cancer is caused by the tar in cigarette smoke. It reduces blood flow and cuts off oxygen to the feet and hands, resulting in amputations.

Emphysema is a lung disease that causes the lungs to deteriorate over time. People who have the condition are more likely to experience bronchitis and develop lung and heart problems. Even passive smokers are in danger of contracting a variety of ailments.

Conclusion

The value of life is incomparable. A balanced diet, enough water, and daily exercise are all necessary for a healthy and fit lifestyle. Every year on the 31st of May, World Anti-Tobacco Day is observed to raise awareness about the dangers of smoking. Smoking cessation can be aided by determination and family support.