Tobacco Use Over The Centuries – Changing Trends

By Lindsay Fox Posted October 31, 2012

Tobacco HistoryMost people who use tobacco, and there are plenty of them, have no idea that this plant is a relative of potatoes, tomatoes and eggplant, just to name a few. This plant, Nicotiana tabacam, is originally from America but is now cultivated in different parts of the world because of the immense demand for it. Tobacco has been used in different forms over the centuries (cigarettes, cigars, pellets etc.), and there are even products such as e-cigarettes that mimic the real thing.


Tobacco has been responsible for the start of many fortunes right from the time that it was brought to the attention of explorers from the Old World. The immense market for it resulted in settlements and plantations being created in different parts of the Americas.


This product was extremely popular in the 18th century, and it was mostly consumed in the form of snuff and pipe tobacco and also for chewing. However, cigarettes had become very popular by the mid-19th century and they began to be mass produced. As a matter of fact, cigarettes were initially used by women mostly because they were considered a milder and more feminine version of the cigar. Today, cigarette smoking is a very popular habit. What concerns public health officials is that young people are also becoming addicted to it.


These days, there is a backlash against tobacco use because people are now aware of the dangers it can cause. Cigarette smoking has been found to have a direct link with cancer and heart disease. Even so, tobacco companies spend a huge amount of money to promote their products and develop new markets for them.


The latest trend followed by cigarette smokers is to use electronic cigarettes. Also known as e-cigarettes, they are not really cigarettes. They contain liquid nicotine which releases vapor when it is heated. There are many studies that confirm E-Cigarettes’ safety. Those people who cannot get rid of their tobacco habit because they are addicted to the feel-good properties of nicotine, are able to get by thanks to ‘smoking’ e-cigarettes. And these devices are becoming extremely popular among smokers. It is only a matter of time before people stop smoking tobacco cigarettes because of the availability of electronic cigarettes.