38 Interesting Facts About Tobacco

Tobacco is a plant grown for its leaves, which are dried and processed into various forms for smoking, chewing, or sniffing. Tobacco contains nicotine, a highly addictive substance, as well as several toxic chemicals known to cause cancer and other serious health problems. Long-term use of tobacco has been linked to diseases such as lung cancer, heart disease, stroke, and various respiratory diseases. Despite the known health risks, tobacco remains one of the most widely used addictive substances in the world. Governments around the world have implemented various measures to reduce tobacco use, such as increasing taxes, restricting advertising, and implementing smoking bans in public places.

  1. Tobacco use dates back more than 8,000 years. Tobacco cultivation most likely began with the development of maize-based agriculture in Central Mexico around 5000 BC. Radiocarbon dating has revealed the presence of cultivated and wild tobacco in the High Rolls Cave in New Mexico between 1400 and 1000 BC.
  2. Around 6000 years back from now American tribes started smoking tobacco in religious ceremonies and for medicinal purposes.
  3. The English word tobacco originates from the Spanish word “tabaco.” The precise origin of this word is unknown, but it is widely assumed to have descended, at least in part, from Taíno, an Arawakan language spoken in the Caribbean.
  4. The oldest tobacco company in the world, Tabacalera, was established in Spain in 1636 as Estanco del Tabaco en Espaa.
  5. In 1760, Pierre Lorillard founded the first tobacco processing company, which produced cigars and snuff. P. Lorillard is still the oldest tobacco company in the United States.
  6. Philip Morris was founded in the United Kingdom in 1847. They were the first to sell hand-rolled Turkish cigarettes, but some other players quickly adopted the practice.
  7. In 1880, James A. Bonsack received a U.S. patent for a cigarette machine that supplied tobacco onto a continuous strip of paper and was automatically made, glued, closed, and cut to lengths by a rotary cutting knife.
  8. Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death worldwide, responsible for over 7 million deaths each year. More people are killed by it than by AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined.
  9. Nicotine in tobacco is highly addictive, making it difficult for users to quit. Nicotine stimulates the release of brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters, which help regulate mood and behavior. One of these neurotransmitters, dopamine, is released in the brain’s reward center and causes feelings of pleasure and improved mood.
  10. The world’s largest tobacco producer and user is China. Nearly one-third of all smokers in the world, or more than 300 million people, reside in China. Over half of the adult men currently smoke tobacco.
  11. Smoking tobacco increases the risk of lung cancer, heart disease, stroke, and other serious health problems like diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
  12. Tobacco smoke contains a lethal cocktail of over 7,000 chemicals. Hundreds are poisonous. Around 70 of them are carcinogenic.
  13. Cigarette smoke is much more toxic than a combination of tar, nicotine, and carbon monoxide.
  14. One of the most dangerous chemicals in cigarettes is hydrogen cyanide.
  15. According to a research, the best age for quitting smoking is before the age of 35, though this can depend on genetic susceptibility to the harms of tobacco smoke. Smoking has an impact on nearly every organ in the body, particularly the lungs and heart.
  16. Secondhand smoke from tobacco is also dangerous, causing cancer and other health problems in non-smokers who are exposed to it.
  17. The production and sale of tobacco products generate significant revenue but also result in significant healthcare costs and lost productivity due to illness and death.
  18. The tobacco industry has been criticized for marketing practices aimed at children and for opposing public health measures to reduce tobacco use.
  19. Many countries have implemented laws and regulations to reduce the impact of tobacco on public health, including restrictions on advertising, sales to minors, and smoking in public places. The World Health Organization (WHO) has called for a worldwide ban on all forms of tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship.
  20. Chewing tobacco and snuff, besides being carcinogenic, can cause oral cancer and other oral health problems.
  21. Pregnant women who smoke tobacco are at increased risk of having low birth weight babies and premature deliveries.
  22. Children of parents who smoke are at increased risk of asthma, respiratory infections, and middle ear infections.
  23. The smoke from burning tobacco contains over 70 known carcinogens, including formaldehyde, cadmium, and benzene.
  24. The use of tobacco is responsible for decreased sense of taste and smell, yellowing of teeth, and premature aging of skin.
  25. Quitting tobacco has immediate and long-term health benefits, including reduced risk of cancer, heart disease, and stroke.
  26. The WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which came into force in 2005, is an international treaty aimed at reducing the impact of tobacco on public health.
  27. The tobacco industry has a history of concealing and denying the health risks of tobacco use and has been subject to legal action in many countries.
  28. The top 5 biggest tobacco companies in the world are
    (I) Philip Morris (Marlboro)
    • Market Cap: $158.43 Billion
    • Country: United States(II)British American Tobacco
    • Market Cap: $85 Billion
    • Country: United Kingdom(III)Altria Group
    • Market Cap: $83 Billion
    • Country: United States

    (IV)ITC (India Tobacco Company Limited )
    • Market Cap: $57 Billion
    • Country: India

    (V)Japan Tobacco
    • Market Cap: $36.27 Billion
    • Country: Japan

  29. In the year 2021, the global production of tobacco was approximately 5.89 million metric tons. China, India, and Brazil were the top three tobacco leaf producers for the previous ten years.
  30. Tobacco farming employs over 15 million people on approximately 3 million farms.
  31. Tobacco leaf production is declining, falling by approximately 4% per year between 2013 and 2017.
  32. In 85,883 factories worldwide, over 1.6 million people are employed in the manufacture of tobacco, which accounts for USD 251 billion in global tobacco output.
  33. Top 5 countries that have the highest smoking population rate are
    • Nauru – 52.1%
    • Kiribati – 52%
    • Tuvalu – 48.7%
    Myanmar – 45.5%
    • Chile – 44.7%
  34. The countries with the fewest smokers include Sweden (9.3%), Iceland (11.2%), Finland (12.5%), Norway (12.9%), and Luxembourg (13.5 percent). Sweden, the European country with the lowest smoking rates, has been at odds with tobacco for many years.
  35. Tobacco product sales total USD 756 billion, with cigarettes accounting for 88% of total sales. In 2017, over five million people worked in the retailing of combustible tobacco products, selling a total of ten million cigarettes per minute.
  36. Bosnia and Herzegovina countries have the highest tax on tobacco products, with over 86% tax. Israel comes in the 2nd spot with 85% tax, and Slovakia is in the 3rd spot with 84.6% tax.
  37. A country that has the lowest taxes on tobacco products is Iraq, which has a tax of about 7.62%.
  38. Globally, 1.1 billion individuals smoke tobacco products, whereas 330 million use smokeless tobacco products. 80% of smokers use cigarettes on a daily basis, and 847 million people smoke cigarettes.

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