What About Smoking
Nicotine, the most abundant of twelve alkaloids in the tobacco leaf, is partly destroyed at the temperature of a burning cigarette. Nicotine is a mood-controlling agent whose worldwide popularity is slightly less than alcohol. Although not initially to European populations, tobacco has emerged as a major cash crop. Outside the tobacco lobby, a few people doubt that cigarettes cause lung cancer, and a prime contributor to heart and respiratory diseases causing hundreds of thousands of deaths in the United States each year. Some of the deleterious effects of smoking tobacco are shortened life span, increased heart and lung disease, lung cancer, vascular disease, emphysema, and stroke. Anti-smoking forces have mounted a non-stop propaganda campaign that has proven most effective. Each cigarette is the source of about 0.25 mg of nicotine for the smoker. This corresponds to the absorption of about 5 mg of nicotine per pack of twenty cigarettes, or 50 mg per carton.