Wednesday, November 27, 2013

About Cigarettes

About Cigarettes

According to the World Health Organization, more than 1.1 billion people smoke cigarettes globally. This means that over one-sixth of the world's entire population are addicted to cigarettes, including tobacco's main chemical, nicotine. These are astonishing numbers when considering the amount of medical information that exists regarding the dangers of smoking. Yet the tobacco companies continue to produce trillions of cigarettes a year, and consumption rates continue to rise in most developing countries.

History of

The name cigarette is said to have come from Spain during the 18th century. Those who could not afford to buy tobacco would use the ends of discarded cigars. They would wrap them in newspaper to smoke. The habit of rolling tobacco with newspaper spread throughout Europe during the Crimean War. Soldiers in both WWI and WWII received cigarettes as a part of their rations. This helped to engrain a smoking habit within American and European culture for the remaining decades of the 20th century.


The cigarette originated as a hand rolled mini-cigar but quickly evolved into a manufactured product. The common cigarette is a combination of tobacco, paper, PVA glue and a cellulose acetate-based filter. The tobacco used in many cigarette brands consists of over one hundred ingredients -- including additives and flavorings.


Today's cigarette paper allows ventilation for a controlled burn. The mouthpiece and filter protect the tobacco from saliva and buffer the lungs from harsh smoke. Each filter has multiple rows of laser-cut air holes. Cigarettes before the 1950s did not have the by-products contained in today's blends. Post-1950s cigarettes contain mixtures of blended leaves, reconstituted leaves with ammonium additives, expanded stems, humectants, licorice and a variety of toppings.


Smokers have a wide selection of blends to choose from. Each country has its different types of tobaccos and manufacturing methods. Some of the world's most successful brands include Winston, Camel, Kool, Salem, Doral, Pall Mall, Parliaments, Virginia Slims, Dunhil and Viceroy. The Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company offers Natural American Spirit cigarettes for those interested in a "natural" blend.

Risk Factors

It's the nicotine in cigarettes that cause the addiction, but it's the other chemicals that cause the damage. The risks involved in habitual smoking are well recorded. About 85 percent of lung cancer cases are caused by smoking cigarettes. Eight out of ten victims of lung cancer die within three years of diagnosis. The toxic chemicals in the smoke are the main causes of cancerous growths. Each emission contains tar, nicotine, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, hydrogen cyanide, benzene and ammonium. Even if you don't smoke yourself, you aren't free of the dangers of smoking. Second-hand smoke causes similar health risks.

The Facts

Many countries are fighting the consumption of cigarettes with warning messages and smoking bans. In the U.S. 390 billion cigarettes are consumed annually, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. America's public policies now include occupational safety and health regulations that prohibit smoking in public spaces and in workplaces. Fear of heart-disease, cancer and emphysema has sparked legislation to ban cigarettes from most restaurants, bars and public parks.

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