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Cultivated tobacco

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Cultivated tobacco
Pink tobacco.jpg
Scientific Classification
Binomial Name

Nicotiana tabacum

Flowering habit at Kahakuloa, Maui

Nicotiana tobacum has been cultivated since pre-columbian times, and is native to Tropical America. Small dosages of tobacco can depress hunger and thirst, along with relieving pain. Heavy dosages of tobacco can cause catatonia, diarrhea, nausea, respiratory failure, visions, and trance. [2]


Body Design

cultivated tobacco foliage

Nicotiana tobacum, or cultivated tobacco, is an annual branched herb that can reach up to 2.5m high. It has large leaves that can very in size, the largest can reach up to 60 cm long. All parts of the plant are covered with short viscid-glandular hairs that make the plant sticky. These hairs also exude a yellowish secretion that contains nicotine. The flowers of the plant have a tube that is 5-6cm long and is about 5mm in diameter. The actual flowers are a white-pinkish color. The plentiful seeds of the plant are small, brown and kidney shaped. [3]

Life Cycle

Cultivated tobacco is a perennial plant but is cultivated annually. It can be harvested in a large variety of soils. It needs a minimum of 120 days free from frost. The seed of the cultivated tobacco germinates in 7-14 days. After growing for about 2-3 months the plant will develop 12-22 leaves. The mature plant stands about 6 to 9 feet tall and has about 22 leaves. [4]


a large field of cultivated tobacco

Cultivated tobacco is sensitive to its environment. The type of soil, humidity and temperature are all very important to the growth of cultivated tobacco. The best temperature for growth would be 20 to 30 degrees Celsius. The atmospheric humidity should be around 80 to 85 percent and a bountiful amount of nitrogen is optimal.[5]

Tobacco Industry and Dangers

Tobacco Industry: The Tobacco Industry is a very large market in the United States and in the rest of the world. From 1617 to 1793, tobacco was the largest export from the mainland colonies of the United States. Until the 1960's the United States has been the largest manufacturer and exporter of tobacco. The term "tobacco industry" includes the manufacture of cigarettes, cigars, snuff, chewing and pipe tobacco. The largest company in the world is the China National Tobacco Co. Ever since the 1990's the tobacco industry in the United States has been declining. The tobacco industry was successfully sued by the United States under claims that tobacco causes cancer. Also that the companies knew this but understated the health dangers of the usage of tobacco.[6]

Dangers: Tobacco is associated with cancer. Over 90 percent of all laryngeal cancers are caused by smoking tobacco. Also 87 percent of all lung cancer cases are results of smoking tobacco. The leading cause of death in the United states is coronary heart disease, which tobacco is often linked to. The list of cancers that tobacco causes is very large. Here is a few of them: lung cancer, bladder cancer, cancer of the oral cavity (mouth), cancer of the larynx (voice box), cancer of the pharynx (throat), and stomach cancer.[7]


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