How Does Cigarette Smoke Affect Plants?
Cigarettes are the most popular smoking method worldwide. They cause death due to many diseases and other health problems. Some of these diseases include cancer, heart disease, lung disease, emphysema, bronchitis and others. There are different types of cigarettes: regular cigarettes (also called “cigarettes”), menthol cigarettes, filtered or unfiltered cigarettes, cigars and pipes.
Regular cigarettes contain tobacco leaves which have been heated and burned. Tobacco leaves contain nicotine, tar, carbon monoxide and other harmful chemicals.
These chemicals may cause cancer when inhaled into your lungs. Other dangerous substances found in cigarette smoke include arsenic, lead, mercury and cyanide. These poisonous gases may cause various diseases including lung cancer and even death if inhaled deep enough into the lungs. Nicotine causes addiction to smokers and increases their desire to continue smoking cigarettes even after they quit completely!
Menthol cigarettes are made from vegetable oils such as coconut oil, palm kernel oil, sunflower seed oil and sesame seed oil. Menthol is a non-toxic substance produced naturally in certain plants.
When these oils are heated they release the natural chemical compound known as 2-(methylethyl) acetate. This substance has similar effects to those of mentholated tobacco products but without any of the negative side effects associated with menthol inhalation.
With filters, the smoke is cooled down before it reaches the mouthpiece or end of the cigarette. This makes it easier to inhale and absorb into the lungs.
Filters do remove some of the harmful chemicals in cigarettes but they also take away from some of the flavor and nicotine absorption rate.
The primary ingredient in cigars is some type of tobacco, consisting of shredded leaves of the tobacco plant which have been fermented and cured. The fermentation process is said to make the tobacco sweeter having a flavor more like that of cigarettes.
There are many substances in cigarette smoke which are known to cause cancer and other diseases in humans and animals. These harmful chemicals can be absorbed through the lungs or through the lining of the stomach.
The common chemicals in cigarette smoke include acetaldehyde, benzene, cadmium, formaldehyde, lead and radioactive polonium. Acetaldehyde is a colorless toxic chemical found in cigarette smoke and is converted into acetic acid once it enters the body.
Acetaldehyde can cause irritation to the eyes and respiratory tract. It can also damage the lining of the stomach leading to vomiting and diarrhea.
Benzene is a chemical compound which has been linked to leukemia. It is colorless, non-flammable and has a sweet smell.
It can be found in cigarette smoke and vehicle emissions. It is used in making various chemicals such as plastics, drugs, dyes and pesticides.
Cadmium is a toxic metal which causes it to be classified as a soft poison. It damages the lungs if inhaled or ingested.
It also causes it to be classified as a human carcinogen. It is considered a major health risk for cigarette smokers.
Formaldehyde is a colorless, strong-smelling chemical used to preserve dead bodies. It is also used in the manufacturing of building materials and for preservation of laboratory samples.
It causes irritation to the eyes, nose and throat and may also cause cancer.
Lead is a toxic metal which has no known function in the human body. Breathing lead can damage the brain and nervous system.
In children this may cause reduced intelligence, hyperactivity and delays in physical growth.
Radioactive polonium is a chemical element which emits Alpha particles as its radiation. It has been found in very high concentrations in the tobacco leaves used in making cigarettes.
Ingesting or inhaling this element may lead to cancer and other serious diseases.
These are just some of the harmful chemicals present in cigarettes and other tobacco products. This is why it is highly advised that those who are addicted do everything in their power to quit this unhealthy habit for their own good.
Nicotine is the active ingredient in cigars, cigarettes, snuff, nicotine gum and nicotine patches. It is a stimulant which is highly addictive.
This chemical affects the body by causing it to have adverse reactions to withdraw upon quitting.
In the 1600’s tobacco was introduced into Europe by explorer Walter Raleigh who was growing it on his plantation in Virginia. Shortly after its introduction tobacco became very popular throughout the continent.
When Was Smoking Invented?
The Indians of the Americas were the first people known to have smoked tobacco. The Mayans and Aztecs both burned it as incense and for religious ceremonies.
The First Europeans to taste tobacco were the crew of Christopher Columbus when they visited the Caribbean in 1492. Upon his return to Europe, Columbus praised the quality of tobacco and tobacco smoke and called it “a wonderful herb.”
It was Sir Walter Raleigh who first popularized the smoking of tobacco in England. He began cultivating it on his own plantation in Virginia in 1585.
By the 16th century, smoking had become common among English men and women.
When Did Cigarettes First Appear?
The earliest patent for “Combustible Tobacco” to be produced as a cigarette was in 1832 by the Cigarette Manufacturing Company of Washington DC. Before this time, people hand-rolled their own cigars by using cut tobacco leaves.
In 1847, the Kent Tobacco Company of Kentucky came up with a machine that would form the cigarettes, although the process was very time-consuming and didn’t catch on right away.
In 1852 another company produced a machine that could produce cigarettes very quickly, and the age of the mass-produced cigarette had arrived.
Cigarettes were looked upon as a “woman’s habit” until the 1880s, when cigarette advertising started to become more common. The first brand to be advertised was “Old Judge”, a product of the Allen and Ginter Company of Richmond, Virginia.
Allen and Ginter also produced the first chewing tobacco. In the 1890s they launched “Bull Durham”, which remains one of the nation’s top selling tobaccos to this day.
At that time, 90% of all cigarettes smoked in the U.S. were hand-rolled.
In 1881, James Bonsack invented the first automated rolling machine. In 1885, inventor Joel Mick invented the machine that we know of today as the type used to manufacture cigarettes.
Before 1900, there were two main methods of producing cigarettes. The first was to lay the tobacco in a long tube and then slice it lengthwise, which produced what were known as “cake” cigarettes.
The second method involved laying the tobacco out into sheets and wrapping it around a pencil-sized mandrel, which produced what were known as “string” cigarettes.
Since the latter method made it easier to produce longer cigarettes, this is how “whole-leaf” tobacco was usually rolled. Since it was expensive and time-consuming to hand-roll a cigarette one at a time, most people preferred to smoke the pre-rolled whole-leaf cigarettes or cigars.
When Did Advertising Restrictions First Begin?
The federal government first regulated tobacco in 1906, when Congress passed the Children’s Protection Act. This law placed restrictions on the sale of cigarettes and banned distribution of cigarettes to anyone under the age of 16.
In 1915, the Mann Act made it illegal to transport women across state lines for “immoral purposes. “As a direct result of this law, the American Tobacco Company was forced to stop mailing free cigarettes to soldiers serving overseas during World War I.
In 1919, the U.S.
government filed a lawsuit against the country’s four major tobacco companies. The case, which was called United States vs. American Tobacco Company, accused the companies of “wrongfully causing the death of thousands of people.”
The tobacco companies ended up settling out of court, and agreed to pay $6 million ($61.5 million today) into a fund for public health education.
However, it wasn’t until the 1950s and 1960s that restrictions on cigarette advertising became common.
In 1954, the first “premiums” for smoking were banned from television and radio. In 1965, cigarette sponsorships of TV shows were outlawed, as well as free giveaways of cigarettes with any purchase.
In 1971, all television advertising restrictions were enacted. New laws also required that all cigarette packaging include a warning label about their dangers.
In 1986, pressure from the public led to a ban on all outdoor advertisements for cigarettes.
In 1998, all advertising restrictions were extended to electronic media, such as the internet and other online forms of advertising.
It wasn’t until 2009 that the U.S.
government finally banned flavored cigarettes, with the exception of menthol. This was followed by a ban on dark-tin packaging in 2012, which forced all cigarette companies to switch to standardized cardboard packs.
Today, tobacco advertising is strictly regulated by the U.S.
government, and the regulations are only getting stricter. Soon, tobacco manufacturers won’t even be able to provide coupons for their products, or give them away for free in magazines or with other products.
How Does Legislation Restrict Advertising?
The Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) is an agreement that was reached between several state governments and the four major tobacco companies (Philip Morris USA, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. Brown & Williamson and Lorillard) in the year 1998.
As part of the agreement, the companies agreed to pay a minimum of $206 billion over the next 25 years to the states. This money is used to fund public health care programs in each state.
In addition, the companies agreed to restrictions on their advertising and marketing campaigns.
For example, the MSA bans all outdoor and point-of-sale advertisements for cigarettes. In addition, they agreed to drop their sponsorship of any sporting or cultural events.
The MSA also restricts how tobacco companies may advertise in magazines, on the radio and on television. For example, they are not allowed to use any description of flavor or additives in their advertising (i.e.
no more “flavored” cigarettes, such as cherry flavor).
Another restriction is that they must display the Surgeon General’s warning regarding the dangers of smoking on all advertisements.
Starting in 2010, all cigarette packages will be required to contain a specific cancer warning, and all advertising (including packaging and point-of-sale) must also contain that warning as well.
The MSA not only restricts traditional advertising for cigarettes, but it also affects e-cigarette manufacturers and sellers.
Sources & references used in this article:
The effects of psychosocial work organization on patterns of cigarette smoking among male chemical plant employees. by KL Green, JV Johnson – American Journal of Public …, 1990 – ajph.aphapublications.org
Calcium-promoted protein phosphorylation in plants by K Veluthambi, BW Poovaiah – Science, 1984 – science.sciencemag.org
Uses and abuses of plant-derived smoke: Its ethnobotany as hallucinogen, perfume, incense, and medicine by M Pennacchio, L Jefferson, K Havens – 2010 – books.google.com
Nicotine‐free and salt‐tolerant tobacco plants obtained by grafting to salinity‐resistant rootstocks of tomato by JM Ruiz, B Blasco, RM Rivero… – Physiologia …, 2005 – Wiley Online Library