Indigenous to the New World, tobacco was introduced to Europe by Christopher Columbus following his eventful journey of 1492. The demand for tobacco spread rapidly, aided by such personages as Queen Elizabeth, Sir Walter Raleigh, and the Frenchman Jean Nicot. Yet, the popularity of tobacco did not long remain unchallenged. James I in his “Counterblaste to Tobacco” in 1604 referred to use of tobacco as “a custome lothesome to the eye, hateful to the nose, harmfull to the braine,dangerous to the lungs, and in the black stinking fume thereof neerest resembling the horrible stigian smoke of the pit that is bottomless.”

Since then, use of this native weed has become pervasive. Phillip Morris,the seventh largest United States corporation, with more than $50 billion in sales in 1992, posted the largest profit of any United States company at $4. 9 billion. Currently, 45 million adult smokers (25% of the population) cost...

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