Smoking is Dangerous to Your Health?

January 11, 1964 – Luther Terry, Surgeon General of the United States, publishes Smoking and Health: Report of the Advisory Committee to the Surgeon General of the United States.   This landmark study concludes that cigarette smoking is linked to chronic bronchitis, emphysema, lung cancer, cardiovascular disease and a host of other aliments.  Tobacco may have been cultivated as long ago as 5,000 BC in South America.  Jean Nicot, (think nicotine) introduced smoking to France in 1560, and it soon spread to England and the rest of the world.  It was first cultivated as a cash crop in the British colony of Jamestown, Virginia in 1612 by John Rolfe.  Originally, tobacco was used for its medicinal purposes but the pleasure derived from smoking rapidly increased its popularity.  Almost from the beginning, there were those who denounced smoking. It was once banned in the Ottoman and Chinese Empires. But the satan of tobacco addiction quickly spread.  In this country the cultivation and consumption of tobacco feed what would become a giant and phenominally profitable industry and smoking was encouraged, even by doctors, who thought it calmed the nerves.  Classes were taught in how to smoke correctly, and it was thought to make the smoker seem sophisticated and worldly.  But, by the early 20th century, people began to take notice that there were undesirable side effects.  The tobacco companies tried to drown out their critics, but men like Terry persisted and his publication started the move to eliminate smoking from our society that continues to this very day.


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