About smoking

Smoking has a tradition that dates back thousands of years.

The tobacco plant is native to the Americas region, and it was in this part of the world that smoking started to spread. The dried leaf is burned and the smoke it produces is inhaled.

Tobacco crop became widely traded by the explorers travelling to America in the 1600s, and the pastime of smoking became popular across Europe. From there it was taken to the colonies, islands and continents beyond.

The way a cigarette is prepared has not changed much. Modern cigarettes are made from dried tobacco leaf which is cured, cut and blended. It is bound into sticks which are wrapped in paper, cut into lengths and attached to a filter. Smokers light the cigarette and inhale the smoke of the burning tobacco leaf through the filter.

Today, the health risks of smoking are well documented. Our position is clear: tobacco use is harmful. No cigarette is safe.Only adults who fully understand the health risks of smoking should be able to smoke.

Despite the risks, many adults choose to smoke for pleasure. Globally around one in four adults smoke, although this figure varies around the world.

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