Cigarettes have been a popular social indulgence since their invention in the 1800s. Although many people smoke regularly, many find it difficult to quit before it begins damaging their health, due to the addictive aspect of cigarettes.
The world’s view on smoking cigarettes has changed dramatically over the last century. The habit was once considered to be cool, sexy, good for your health, and widely enjoyed by many people. It was promoted by sportsmen, and advertised all over television. No one could be seen acting in a movie without a lit cigarette in their hand!
Cigarettes are rolled-up paper products containing tobacco and nicotine – a highly addictive drug. The heavily addictive qualities of this drug make it difficult to quit smoking.
The nicotine content in several major brands is reportedly on the rise. Harvard University and the Massachusetts Health Department revealed that between 1997 and 2005 the amount of nicotine in Camel, Newport, and Doral cigarettes may have increased by as much as 11 percent.
‘Lite’ cigarettes are manufactured with air holes around the filter to aerate the smoke as it is drawn in. Many smokers have learned to cover these holes with their fingers or their lips to get a stronger hit.
‘Toppings’ are added to the blended tobacco mix to add flavor and a taste unique to the manufacturer. Some of these toppings have included; clove, licorice, orange oil, apricot stone, lime oil, lavender oil, dill seed oil, cocoa, carrot oil, mace oil, myrrh, beet juice, bay leaf, oak, rum, vanilla, and vinegar.
Although it is commonly believed that there is an age restriction on cigarette usage, there is only a limitation on the sale of tobacco products. In the United States, an individual must be 18 or older to purchase cigarettes, but with an adult’s approval, a minor is legally able to smoke.
In most countries around the world, the legal age for the purchase of tobacco products is now 18, raised from 16, while in Japan the age minimum is 20 years old.
The United States is the only major cigarette market in the world in which the percentage of women smoking cigarettes (22%) comes close to the number of men who smoke (35%). Europe has a slightly larger gap (46% of men smoke, 26% of women smoke), while most other regions have few women smokers. The stats: Africa (29% of men smoke, 4% of women smoke); Southeast Asia (44% of men, 4% of women), Western Pacific (60% of men, 8% of women)