Tobacco of any kind, be that pipe tobacco or any other type, comes from a leafy annual plant. The plant originated from Central and South America, but is now grown all over the world, including for instance in Southern Ontario. Many different species of tobacco exist, while Nicotiana Tabacum, also known as the the ‘common tobacco’, is the most popular. It is also this tobacco that is used in the production of cigarettes.
Some Facts about Tobacco
The tobacco leaf contains nicotine, which is a powerful stimulant that affects the central nervous system. Nicotine, which is one of tobacco’s main ingredients, is actually classified as a drug. Indeed, in high doses, it is incredibly poisonous. Few people know, for instance, that it is regularly used as an insecticide.
Tobacco leaves can be both inhaled or burned using cigars, cigarettes, smoke, pipes and more. It can also be absorbed using the mouth by using products such as snuff, chew or spit tobacco. The membranes in the lungs, mouth and nose are used to deliver the nicotine to the central nervous system by transmitting it into the blood, which takes it to the brain.
Usually, smoker will feel sick and dizzy when the first inhale tobacco and are exposed to nicotine. However, they then start to build up a tolerance. New smokers often notice an irritated, dry throat, coughing, weakness, nausea, headaches, abdominal cramps and gagging. As tolerance is built up, these symptoms subside as well.
One of the problems is that nicotine is a very addictive substance. It is for this reason that tobacco has been able to spread all over the world so quickly. The withdrawal of nicotine is incredibly unpleasant, which is why smokers continue to use tobacco even though they know it is bad for them. Furthermore, they start to change the way they behave differently by doing things such as inhaling more deeply, so that they can continue to feel the effects of nicotine that they are actually addicted to.
Those who smoke 15 cigarettes or more each day, as well as those who light up their first cigarette within half an hour of waking up will almost always experience nicotine withdrawal if they stop smoking. This is incredibly uncomfortable and very difficult. Indeed, it is said that quitting nicotine is one of the hardest substances to withdraw from.
Some of the withdrawal symptoms that can be experienced include insomnia, depression, difficulty concentrating, irritability, anxiety, restlessness, increased appetite, decreased heart rate, cravings for nicotine and weight gain. These symptoms are at their worst between 24 and 48 hours after having the last cigarette and they can last for anything from days to four weeks. However, craving a cigarette, which is a psychological addiction, can last a lifetime. The do say “once an addict, always an addict”.
In general, smokers try to quit around four times before they are successful. However, relapse rates are incredibly high and should be seen not as failures but as part of the entire quitting process.