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What is it?
Tobacco is an agricultural crop.

What does it look like?
Brown cut up leaves.

What are the street names/slang terms for it?
Dip, chew, fags, and smoke.

How is it used?
Tobacco is usually smoked. Sometimes tobacco leaves are "dipped" or "chewed" so the nicotine is absorbed via the gums.

What are its short-term effects?
When a person smokes a cigarette, the body responds immediately to the chemical nicotine in the smoke. Nicotine causes a short-term increase in blood pressure, heart rate, and the flow of blood from the heart. It also causes the arteries to narrow. Carbon monoxide reduces the amount of oxygen the blood can carry. This, combined with the effects produced by nicotine, creates an imbalance in the demand for oxygen by the cells and the amount of oxygen the blood is able to supply.

What are its long-term effects?
It is now well documented that smoking can cause chronic lung disease, coronary heart disease, and stroke, as well as cancer of the lungs, larynx, esophagus, mouth, and bladder. In addition, smoking is known to contribute to cancer of the cervix, pancreas, and kidneys. Researchers have identified more than 40 chemicals in tobacco smoke that cause cancer in humans and animals. Smokeless tobacco and cigars also have deadly consequences, including lung, larynx, esophageal, and oral cancer.
The harmful effects of smoking do not end with the smoker.

Women who use tobacco during pregnancy are more likely to have adverse birth outcomes, including babies with low birth weight, which is linked with an increased risk of infant death and with a variety of infant health disorders. The health of nonsmokers is adversely affected by environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). Each year, exposure to ETS causes an estimated 3,000 non-smoking Americans to die of lung cancer and causes up to 300,000 children to suffer from lower respiratory-tract infections. Evidence also indicates that exposure to ETS increases the risk of coronary heart disease.

What about cigar and pipe smoking?
People who smoke cigars or pipes seem to have a higher risk of death from coronary heart disease (possibly stroke), although their risk is not as great as cigarette smokers. This is probably because they are less likely than cigarette smokers to inhale the smoke. There is very little scientific information on cigar and pipe smoking and cardiovascular disease at this time.

What causes nicotine addiction?
Nicotine is an addictive drug. This means that the use of nicotine causes changes in the brain that make people want to use more and more of the drug. In addition, addictive drugs cause unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. The combination of good feelings caused by the presence of an addictive drug and the bad feelings when the drug is not present make breaking any addiction very difficult. The addiction to nicotine has historically been one of the most difficult to break.

What is its federal classification?
Tobacco is a legal product for adults.



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