Segments in this Video

Tobacco Farming (06:00)


Tobacco is a problematic crop, but it will grow almost anywhere on earth in virtually any climate and is incredibly profitable to produce. Tobacco in the United States is mostly flue cured or burley; the crops begin in a greenhouse in mid-April and are later transplanted into open-air fields; the nicotine chemical produced by the plant is what makes it commercially useful.

History of Tobacco (04:54)

Historians believe the Andes were the first place tobacco plants were grown, cultivated, and smoked. Following the settling of America, tobacco use spread throughout Europe and then to Asia. The consumption of cigarettes has caused health crisis all across the globe.

Global Tobacco Use (05:06)

In the developing world, tobacco use rises by three and a half percent annually, while it continues to fall in the developed world. There are more smokers in China than citizens of the United States. Phillip Morris is the world's largest cigarette company; cigarette smoking, according to medical professionals is the most dangerous form of tobacco use because of the hazardous add-ons and how it is inhaled.

Marketing Cigarettes (05:44)

The origins of cigarettes can be traced to Spain in the early 19th century in the Seville Tobacco Factory. James Bonsack was the inventor of the world's first cigarette making machine. As tobacco use in the US grew to half the adult population, medical professionals drew the link from tobacco use to lung disease, but tobacco executives kept this information from the American public.

Premium Cigars (03:57)

While cigarettes have become highly controversial due to their link to a higher risk of cancer, cigars are marketed to the public as expensive luxury products. The Fuente Fuente Opus X is created by a minimum of four hundred people from plant to cigar.

Making Cuban Cigars (03:53)

Arawak natives in Cuba were the first people to share their tobacco cigars with Westerners, and Cuba became known as the highest quality tobacco producers in the world. Many Cuban cigar makers moved to neighboring countries following the 1960s US trade embargo on Cuba.

Pipe Crafting (03:37)

Pipes for smoking tobacco can be works of art, utilitarian objects, or historical artifacts; a pipe maker explains the mechanics of pipes including the bowl and draft holes. Native Americans were great pipe making craftspeople; their pieces were made carefully out of wood and stone.

Pipe Tobacco Blends (02:12)

The American tobacco company Cornell and Diehl makes the two main tobacco blends for pipe smoking: the flavorless English blends and the aromatic blends. Pipe and cigar smokers do not habitually inhale, so their lung cancer rates are lower, but they do have similar esophageal and oral cancer rates to cigarette smokers.

Smokeless Tobacco (02:27)

Chewing tobacco, also known as snuff, is only consumed in the United States and Scandinavia. Swedish Match's most popular product is their Swedish snus, which is not spit out like chewing tobacco or snuff.

Quitting Tobacco (04:46)

Seventy to eighty percent of cigarette smokers are addicted while only five percent of alcohol users are addicted, and only fifty percent or fewer cocaine and heroin users are addicted. The rates of success are higher for smokers seeking to quit through a combination of counseling and nicotine replacement therapy.

Credits: Tobacco (00:31)

Credits: Tobacco

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Modern Marvels: Tobacco

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Discovered around 18,000 years ago, tobacco was first cultivated in the Andes between 5000 and 3000 B.C. At a modern tobacco farm in North Carolina, a farmer will show us how the crop is harvested and cured.

Length: 44 minutes

Item#: FPT160899

Copyright date: ©2006

Closed Captioned

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