Smoking, license to kill
According to the World Health Organization, smoking is the first avoidable cause of disease and death in the world. The most recent statistics indicate that spite of the international efforts to reduce its use, it causes seven million deaths a year and has become the foreground among medical problems, and is related with different critical diseases that every day become more important as a cause of disability.
Native of the American continent, the tobacco derives from the Maya "Ski-ar", meaning smoke. The Spanish people saw that they smoked for medical or ceremonial purposes in the Antilles, Mexico, Brazil, Florida and Virginia. That is why they took the tobacco to Spain and England.
At first, the tobacco was not accepted in Europe, not even in a social level, for considering it dirty and that it was damaging directly to the lungs and brain, or normative level, since some laws condemned their use. However, its use was widespread up to being socially acceptable, so in the 20th century its consumption spread, mainly in the form of cigarettes. After a while, it began to observe the increase in several conditions, among the most serious: cancer of various organs, especially lung and airway diseases.
Tobacco leaves contain several hundred components in a complex mixture, but two of them are especially harmful; one is nicotine which is an alkaloid, the other is the group of isoprenoids. Most carcinogenic components identified in the tar of the cigarette smoke are not present in the natural leaf of tobacco but are formed by the high temperature combustion.
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