Neuroscience

Training can reverse nicotine-induced brain damage

Motor-skill training has proved capable of reversing brain impairments in rats treated with nicotine. This effect has been demonstrated in a recent study and, in the long term, the method may also come to be tested as an ...

Health

FDA proposes graphic warning labels on cigarettes

(HealthDay)—Smokers would have to get past some gruesome imagery to purchase a pack of cigarettes under a new rule proposed Thursday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Health

CDC: Over one-third of U.S. youth exposed to secondhand smoke

(HealthDay)—More than one-third of U.S. nonsmoking youth are exposed to secondhand smoke (SHS) from tobacco, according to an August data brief published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center ...

Health

Montenegro bans indoor smoking in public places

Smoking indoors in public places was banned from Wednesday in Montenegro, a major challenge in the tobacco-mad Balkan country with some of the highest smoking rates in Europe.

Health

Study shows pediatricians can help parents to quit smoking

An NIH-funded study published in JAMA Pediatrics has shown pediatricians can help parents quit smoking. The research, led by investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children (MGHfC), was conducted across five ...

Oncology & Cancer

How cigarette smoke makes head and neck cancer more aggressive

Head and neck cancer is the sixth most common cancer in the world. The vast majority of cases are head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), a type of cancer that arises in the outer layer of the skin and mucous membranes ...

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Smoking

Smoking is a practice where a substance, most commonly tobacco, is burned and the smoke tasted or inhaled. This is primarily practised as a route of administration for recreational drug use, as combustion releases the active substances in drugs such as nicotine and makes them available for absorption through the lungs. It can also be done as a part of rituals, to induce trances and spiritual enlightenment. The most common method of smoking today is through cigarettes, primarily industrially manufactured but also hand-rolled from loose tobacco and rolling paper. Other smoking tools includes pipes, cigars, hookahs and bongs.

Smoking is one of the most common forms of recreational drug use. Tobacco smoking is today by far the most popular form of smoking and is practiced by over one billion people in the majority of all human societies. Less common drugs for smoking include cannabis and opium. Most drugs that are smoked are considered to be addictive. Some of the substances are classified as hard narcotics, like heroin and crack cocaine, but the use of these is very limited as they are often not commercially available.

The history of smoking can be dated to as early as 5000 BC, and has been recorded in many different cultures across the world. Early smoking evolved in association with religious ceremonies; as offerings to deities, in cleansing rituals or to allow shamans and priests to alter their minds for purposes of divination or spiritual enlightenment. After the European exploration and conquest of the Americas, the practice of smoking tobacco quickly spread to the rest of the world. In regions like India and Subsaharan Africa, it merged with existing practices of smoking (mostly of cannabis). In Europe, it introduced a new type of social activity and a form of drug intake which previously had been unknown.

Perception surrounding smoking has varied over time and from one place to another; holy and sinful, sophisticated and vulgar, a panacea and deadly health hazard. Only recently, and primarily in industrialized Western countries, has smoking come to be viewed in a decidedly negative light. Today medical studies have proven that smoking tobacco is among the leading causes of many diseases such as lung cancer, heart attacks and can also lead to birth defects. The well-proven health hazards of smoking have caused many countries to institute high taxes on tobacco products and anti-smoking campaigns are launched every year in an attempt to curb tobacco smoking.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA