Barbara A. Taylor
U.S. Healthcare Delivery System
Dr. Sally Lobach
December 9, 2012
One of the oldest habits in the world dates back to the Ecuadorean and Peruvian Andes mountain range, growing for about 5000 years before the Incas began using the infamous “tobacco”. That particular period, started around 600-1000 AD, in Uaxactun, Guatemala. The first recorded picture, of a Mayan Priest smoking a roll of tobacco leaves, tied with a string and displayed on a pottery vessel. The Mayans called it “sik’ar”, which is a term used for the word smoking and began using tobacco in various ways such as religious and medicinal practices. This term later transitioned through the centuries to the word “cigarra”, derived by the Spanish culture and “cigarette” defined by the French as “small cigar”. Turkey acquired much of this tobacco, grew, cultivated, cured and produced some of the finest Turkish tobacco in the world (Brockley, December 16, 2004). During this period, various species of Nicotiana was unknown to the Incas until 1492 when Columbus adventured the New World, he and other explorers returned to Europe with shiploads of tobacco. Following the controversy in Spain, tobacco was popular among the elite classes that began demanding more tobacco from the settlers. The Europeans settled in the Americans and the Native Americans taught the English settlers how to grow, cultivate, cure and use tobacco. By 1612, John Rolfe brought some full flavored tobacco from Tobago and was able to create an industry with work earned by the African Slaves, profited him in the Southern portion of the United States for the next one hundred years. As the raw tobacco’s supply increased to Europe from the colonies, prices on tobacco decreased. Thereby, allowing the inferior class of people to use and abuse tobacco products such as snuff, cigars, pipe tobacco and cigarettes. Due to Europe’s active trading and communications with other countries around the world, tobacco seeds, plants and use multiplied quickly.
The Effects of Tobacco in the U.S. Healthcare System
First Intentions Tobaccos first intentions were originally for medicinal and religious purposes. Tobacco was effective for various uses. As a pain killer it was used for earache and toothache, enema and sometimes as a poultice. The desert Indians claimed that the tobacco was a cure for colds especially if the tobacco was mixed with the leaves of the small Desert Sage, root of Indian Balsam or Cough Root, which is the additional herb recognized to be good for asthma and tuberculosis (Staff, 1962). Coincidentally, several marketed bug sprays contain nicotine.
Cause for Smoking
The widespread smoking of cigarettes in the Western world is for the most part is a 20th century phenomenon. During the start of the century the per capita annual consumption in the U.S. was 54 cigarettes (equivalent to less than 0.5% of the population smoking more than 100 cigarettes per year), and consumption there peaked at 4,259 per capita in 1965. At that point in time, about 50% of men and 33% of women smoked more than 100 cigarettes per year (Park, 1990-1999). By 2000, consumption had fallen to 2,092 per capita, corresponding to about 30% of men and 22% of women smoking more than 100 cigarettes per year, and by 2006 per capita consumption had declined to 1,691; implying that about 21% of the population smoked 100 cigarettes or more per year (U.S. Department of Agriculture [USDA], 2006).
During World War I and World War II, cigarettes were rationed to soldiers. During the second half of the 20th century, the adverse health effects of cigarettes started to become widely known and text-only health warnings became commonplace on cigarette packets. The United States has not yet implemented graphical cigarette warning labels, which are considered a more effective method to communicate to the public the