Drug Presentation

Tobacco

What is it/ definition?

Tobacco is a green, leafy plant that is grown in warmer climates. After it is picked, it is dried, ground up, and used in many different ways. Its most commonly smoked in a cigarette, pipe, or cigar but it can also be chewed or sniffed through the nose.

The History of Tobacco

Tobacco was first grown by American Indians around 600-900 AD, before the Europeans came from England, Spain, France, and Italy to North America. Native Americans smoked tobacco through a pipe for special religious and medical purposes. They did not smoke every day. Most people at that time grew tobacco as their main source of cash. By the 1800's, many people had begun using small amounts of tobacco. Some chewed it, others smoked it occasionally in a pipe, or they hand-rolled a cigarette or cigar. On average, people smoked about 40 cigarettes a year. The first commercial cigarettes were made in 1865 and sold to soldiers returning from the Civil War.

Cigarette smoking became widespread in 1881 when James Bonsack invented the cigarette making machine that could make up to 120 000 cigarettes a day, the first brand of cigarettes ever was packaged in a box with baseball cards, and were called Duke of Durham.

What are the Long Term and Short Term Effects of Tobacco?

The long term effects of tobacco are-
  • Heart Disease
  • Cancer
  • Lung Disease
  • Reproductive Damage
  • Birth Defects

Tobacco kills even more people through heart disease and stroke than it does through cancer.
The short term effects of tobacco are-

When a person smokes a cigarette, the body responds immediately to the chemical nicotine in the smoke. Nicotine causes a short-term increase in blood pressure, heart rate, and the flow of blood from the heart. It basically makes you really happy for a while and can cause hallucinations but eventually that will stop and you will have an endless craving for more and more.

Video- Tobacco Addiction Story

Tobacco Addiction Story - nosmokes.com.au

Why do people choose to use Tobacco?

Three of the main reasons that young people smoke are to look mature, to be like their friends, and to experiment. Since teens see older people all around them smoking, especially their parents and relatives, they smoke to act older. If their friends or peers smoke, they may feel pressured into doing the same to be accepted. The last reason is the excitement of experimenting with something that is forbidden, the excitement of sneaking away to do something you wouldn't normally do.

Why do people choose not to use tobacco?

People choose not to use tobacco because, for example if they are pregnant, it would affect their child or if they know that it is really bad for them and are mature enough to say no and they know if they do the outcome will not be positive, so they just stay away from smoking. Another reason why people choose not to smoke is because they are happy with themselves, like they know they don't need to be 'popular' or fit in with they crowd, they like themselves and are happy that way.

is tobacco socially acceptable?

I personally think that smoking is quite common and is socially acceptable although it depends on the situation, because you are going to find more people smoking at a party than at a school because different things are acceptable in different situations but I also think that if you are having a conversation with someone while you are smoking it is considered rude, although it is thought to be acceptable we are now becoming more aware of the risks because of TV and the images on the packaging, so once again it depends on the situation you are in.

how can someone reduce their intake?

  • Delay- waiting a few minutes can make the craving go away.
  • Distraction- distracting yourself with something like chewing gum or a game can reduce the urge to smoke.
  • Don't give in- don't be tempted and tell yourself that you will only have 'just one'.

What are some health services?

If you want to stop smoking/quit here are some health services who can help:
or call them on 6620 2100


  • South west healthcare contact them by visiting their website at:
http://www.swarh.com.au/swh/content/community-health
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