History of Tobacco

  • Knut-Olaf Haustein


Nicotiana tabacum, the tobacco plant used since ancient times in Central and South America, does not occur naturally but is a product of human cultivation [1], being a hybrid of Nicotiana sylvestris and Nicotiana tomentosifosa [2]. Nicotiana rustica (developed later in Russia as machorka) was the variety cultivated in North America and this has a higher nicotine content than other tobacco plants. Illustrations of the tobacco plant appeared under the name Nicotiana major in 17th-century herbals (Figure 1.1) because tobacco was believed to possess healing properties [3]. The nicotine content of tobacco leaves is increased if the leading stem of the plant and its lateral shoots are removed (a process known as “topping and suckering”), and drying improves the flavour of the leaves [1]. The juice of limes is used to enhance the flavour of some tobacco varieties [4], and the release of nicotine as the free base is improved in the process [5].


Influenza Nicotine Cocaine Turkey Lime 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Knut-Olaf Haustein
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Nicotine Research and Smoking CessationErfurtGermany

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