The History of Tobacco and How It Effects Our Lives Essay

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Tobacco
The word tobacco was originally derived from Tabaco, the Spanish word for taino (Carson 1). In the first century, American Indians began using tobacco in many ways, including religion and medicine (“History of Tobacco” 1). Taino was what the Natives in America called tobacco rolls. When Columbus arrived in the West Indies, he found inhabitants smoking rolls of tobacco, called taino (Carson 1). He was offered dried tobacco leaves as a gift from the natives (“History of Tobacco” 1). The natives believed that ‘drinking smoke’, or the act of smoking taino, was relaxing. Columbus took seeds from the tobacco plants and the Spanish colonies began cultivating the plant in large quantities. The first time tobacco was commercially cultivated was in 1610 in Jamestown, Virginia, by John Rolfe, an English colonist. Two years later, he found a way to cure tobacco for exporting to other countries. The amount of exporting tobacco quickly made Jamestown a tobacco powerhouse (Carson 1). It soon became a cash crop, and large demand for exportation spurred the need of slave labor in America (“A Brief History of Tobacco” 1). Tobacco grew in popularity in Europe because of its healing properties. At the time, tobacco was believed to treat bad breath, relieve pain, and cure cancer (“History of Tobacco” 2). Little did they know that hundreds of years later, tobacco would become the leading cause of preventable deaths (“Cancer” 1).
Smoking causes cancer, COPD, stroke, and heart…