Drug Street Names
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is a plant grown in the United States that is harvested and processed
into cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, chewing tobacco and snuff.
Tobacco contains nicotine, a drug that acts on the brain and rapidly produces
addiction. Scientists estimate that 90 percent to 95 percent of tobacco
users are addicted. Nicotine itself is toxic--high doses can kill, but
do so rarely. Its most destructive property is its ability to addict users
rapidly. Once addicted, smokers repeatedly expose their brains and bodies
to hundreds of toxic
chemicals contained in tobacco and tobacco smoke. The list of cancers
that tobacco causes is impressive, from cancers of the mouth, head and
neck to cancers involving most of the vital organs. Smoking also causes
heart disease, emphysema, and other lung diseases. Moreover, cigarette
smoke can also harm nonsmokers. Children whose parents smoke suffer higher
rates of bronchitis and other lung infections, and nonsmoking spouses
of smokers have higher rates of lung cancer than those whose spouses do
not smoke. Every year, tobacco kills more than 400,000 Americans. This
is more deaths than all Americans killed in World War I, World War II,
and the Korean and Vietnam wars combined. Every year the tobacco industry
loses 2 million smokers; 80 percent quit, the rest die. The industry recruits
teenagers to replace those losses.
Smokes, cancer sticks, chew, snuff.
In the United States, it is legal to produce tobacco in all forms and
sell it to adults, and it is legal for adults to buy and use tobacco.
It is illegal to sell tobacco to those under age 18 and illegal for them
to buy it. There's a good reason for this law. Research shows the longer
we can delay the onset of tobacco use among adolescents, the less likely
they are to become addicted to any drug. (The same is true for alcohol.)