From it's early days in use by the Mayas and other groups, tobacco originally only had a limited use during limited religious ceremonies or in use during a peace agreement with a former opponent. But soon the White man discovered that this highly addictive drug could be marketed worldwide for huge profits. Both American and English interests sought out larger imports of the crop, and looked to expand the labor pool through slavery. By trading guns to waring tribal leaders in Africa that conquered other tribes, and creating more war in the African continent, slaves were sold to American and English interests.
Entire families of Africans who were conquered in war, soon found themselves chained in slave ships only to toil for free for wealthy American and English tobacco interests.
To help justify slavery, the wealthy tobacco interests along with cotton interests in the South helped to establish The Southern Baptist Convention. By manipulation of faith in God to justify the evils of slavery, this version of the Baptist perverted the honorable history of the faith, twisting it into a brainwashing instrument to justify something that clearly clashed with Scripture. The account of Exodus in the Old Testament, in which ancient Jewish slaves are frred from Egyptian slavery stands as God's strongest word against this practice, yet the Southern Baptist Convention twisted this message.
By the time of the American Civil War, Southern tobacco and cotton interests were heavily involved in the Southern separatist movement as a means to keep slavery. This war killed and wounded hundreds of thousands.
Today the tobacco industry still trades in human exploitation and bondage, speading their highly addictive drug throughouty the world and especially ruining cultures in Asia and other poor and developing parts of the world.
Far from it's intended use by the Mayas during limited religious services, today the average user is far from any Native American or anyone engaging in a religious ritual. Today the it is the poorest and lest educated of Americans that are enslaved to this drug that is is just as addictive as heroin.
42% of high school dropouts smoke, whereas only 7% of college graduates do. Roughly 80% of mentally ill persons smoke. Nearly 100% of drug addicts who use crack, meth, heroin, smoke. Smokers largely comprise the least educated of society, many have criminal backgrounds, are more likely to have been involved in violence and child and wife abuse that the average public member by far. Tobacco executives aren't stupid, they know that this is their target audience. They send out representatives into some of the worst taverns in America to give free tobacco gifts to persons already often suffering from excessive alcohol abuse. Tobacco executives only interest is in fostering a second drug addiction to these persons whose lives are out of control.
Tobacco executives also know that they profit from a deadly and defective productive, but these bloodthirsty and money hungry drug paddlers simply don't care. 50% of all smokers will die from their drug use. Smokers live an average of ten years less than nonsmokers. Smokers rob health insurance companies of billions of dollars of extra funds needed to pay for diseases caused or made much worse from cigarette smoking including, lung cancer, oesophageal cancer, mouth and tongue cancer, stomach cancer, bladder cancer, pancreas cancer, and many more disorders. Philip Morris Company even openly admits that secondhand smoke from their products injure or kill nonsmokers with asthma, emphysema, asthma and even small babies with SIDS. Yet Philip Morris refuses to remove their defective and dangerous product from the store shelves of America.
Like all defective and dangerous products, tobacco products should face tighter government regulations. The sale or manufacture of tobacco products that produce smoke or fumes that ruin the health of persons other than the intended user should be banned. Only licensed pharmacies should be allowed to sale tobacco products, and a consultation given that it is an addictive drug and is meant to be used in the privacy of one's own home only.
The public use of tobacco products in public places such as on crowded sidewalks or in automobiles in traffic should be banned. Using a highly addictive drug while driving is not wise. Studies indicate that smoking while driving increases accidents, although some other causes such as intoxicated driving rank even higher.
Gas stations should be banned from selling cigarettes or allowing smoking anywhere on their property. Besides static electricity, smoking can contribute to serious fires or gasoline explosions. Any attempt to limit possible death or injury around these highly explosive fumes is wise.
Smoking on public sidewalks spreads foul dirty smelling fumes as far as half a block in all directions, and leaves a filthy, dirty taste in the mouths of all nonsmokers who have to walk through this cloud of filthy pollution. Unlike automobile pollution, cigarette smoke contains allergens that make many with health problems avoid crowded shopping places, costing American businesses millions in lost sales every year. Persons with asthma, emphysema, cystic fibrosis, prone to ear, sinus, or lung infections, or who are allergic avoid shopping in crowded areas because it is not worth risking their health or needless health expenses to be exposed to cigarette smoke.
The use of cigarettes on any public sidewalk or any store parking lot should be criminalized. Many panhandlers, who are often only seeking money for a drug or alcohol addiction, use smoking at store entrances to beg for money and loiter. This cycle of drug addiction could be broken somewhat if these drug addicts were removed areas where begging for money only worsens their problems. They will never get the needed professional help that they need when smoking only acts to worsen their other addictions and begging gives them access to drug money.
Consumer product safety organizations need to crack down on tobacco just like any other dangerous and defective product. Fines and possible arrests of tobacco executives who fail to comply with safety standards or produce products that injure and kill user and nonuser alike need to be enforced.
Smoking kills roughly 50,000 in the U.S. each year. Close to the number of U.S. Servicemen killed in 12 years of war in Vietnam. Smoking causes an average of 30,000 housefires each year. More than 800 persons, sometimes innocent persons living in crowded apartment building die from smoker caused fires. Many average large scale landlords have had several fires and a great deal of property damage from smokers. Up to 80% of all cancer may be caused by tobacco products both in smokers and nonsmokers, but housefires are another leading cause of death. Hundreds of grass and forest fires result in most states each year from careless smokers.
Lawsuits against stores that sell cigarettes, refuse to stop smoking in their parking lots, etc. will get the message across. Some public pressure for store to stop selling magazines such as Playboy resulted in their removal even though there was no known problems from these magazines, yet smoking which is related to so much injury, societal costs, and other ills is allowed to continue. Many stores only operate not so much to sell food, but to contribute to alcohol or smoking problems in the local community. These stores don't realize how much alcoholism or other problems tear families apart while they profit from this.
Yesterday I had to do a little maintenance on my car and a smoker walked by, and I caught one single breath of this poisoned air. I had tightening in my head and heart chest and ear problems. Today nearly 24 hours later, I'm nearly as sick. My lungs and ears feel terrible. My tongue still has that horrible dirty taste of tobacco on it a day later, and drinking water or eating doesn't remove it. For animals like dogs ity must be far worse. I might have to see a doctor because of a variety of poisoning effects from this exposure to tobacco smoke. This should not be allowed. Smoking is a form of criminal assault on nonsmokers with health problems. Both those who use and sell tobacco products should face criminal and civil sanctions for the problems that they cause.
Everytime a nonsmoker is assaulted with cigarette smoke they should file complaints with government consumer agencies. Government will eventually act if nonsmokers will speak up.