What is tobacco?

  • (noun): Aromatic annual or perennial herbs and shrubs.
    See also — Additional definitions below


Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. It can be consumed, used as a pesticide and, in the form of nicotine tartrate, used in some medicines. It is most commonly used as a drug, and is a valuable cash crop for countries such as Cuba, India, China, and the United States. Tobacco is a name for any plant of the genus Nicotiana of the Solanaceae family (nightshade family) and for the product manufactured from the leaf and used in cigars and cigarettes, snuff, and pipe and chewing tobacco. Tobacco plants are also used in plant bioengineering, and some of the 60 species are grown as ornamentals. The chief commercial species, N. tabacum, is believed native to tropical America, like most nicotiana plants, but has been so long cultivated that it is no longer known in the wild. N. rustica, a mild-flavored, fast-burning species, was the tobacco originally raised in Virginia, but it is now grown chiefly in Turkey, India, and Russia. The alkaloid nicotine is the most characteristic constituent of tobacco and is responsible for its addictive nature. The harmful effects of tobacco derive from the thousands of different compounds generated in the smoke, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (such as benzpyrene), formaldehyde, cadmium, nickel, arsenic, radioactive polonium-210, tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs), phenols, and many others.

Read more about Tobacco.

Some articles on tobacco:

Habanos S.A.
... is the arm of the Cuban state tobacco company, Cubatabaco, that controls the promotion, distribution, and export of Cuban cigars and other tobacco products worldwide ... In 2000, the Franco-Spanish tobacco giant Altadis purchased 50% of Habanos S.A ... Altadis was acquired by Imperial Tobacco in February 2008 ...
Tobacco - Gallery
... Broadleaf tobacco inspected in Chatham, Virginia, USA Tobacco field in northern Poland Flowers of tobacco plant in northern Poland in September Tobacco. 1921-1939 Tobacco growing in the Philippines ...
International Red Cross And Red Crescent Museum - Controversy Over Funding By The Tobacco Industry
... In 2012, the museum was under heavy criticism by health groups for partnering with multinational tobacco corporation Japan Tobacco International, which was funding the renovation ...
European Policy Centre - British American Tobacco
... In January 2010, research was published alleging that in the 1990s EPC helped tobacco companies, as well as other industry groups, lobby "to ensure that the EU framework for evaluating policy options ... British American Tobacco was one of a number of companies who took part in the Forum set up in 1997 to promote improved regulation of risk-related issues ... British American Tobacco remains an ordinary EPC member among over 400 organisations and has no special influence in any of EPC’s activities or governing bodies ...

More definitions of "tobacco":

  • (noun): Leaves of the tobacco plant dried and prepared for smoking or ingestion.
    Synonyms: baccy

Famous quotes containing the word tobacco:

    There’s nothing quite like tobacco: it’s the passion of decent folk, and whoever lives without tobacco doesn’t deserve to live.
    Molière [Jean Baptiste Poquelin] (1622–1673)

    There is held to be no surer test of civilisation than the increase per head of the consumption of alcohol and tobacco. Yet alcohol and tobacco are recognisable poisons, so that their consumption has only to be carried far enough to destroy civilisation altogether.
    Havelock Ellis (1859–1939)

    The puritanical potentialities of science have never been forecast. If it evolves a body of organized rites, and is established as a religion, hierarchically organized, things more than anything else will be done in the name of “decency.” The coarse fumes of tobacco and liquors, the consequent tainting of the breath and staining of white fingers and teeth, which is so offensive to many women, will be the first things attended to.
    Wyndham Lewis (1882–1957)