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Drugs and diseases reference index

Definition of «Tobacco»

Tobacco: A South American herb, formally known as Nicotiana tabacum, whose leaves contain 2-8% nicotine and serve as the source of smoking and smokeless tobacco.

Nicotiana tabacum belongs to the nightshade family, which also includes potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant and red peppers. All contain nicotine. However, the concentration of nicotine in those vegetables is far lower than the level in tobacco.

Nicotiana tabacum presents a huge health problem. Disease and premature death continue to be caused by the use of tobacco. About 50 million Americans smoke. Of those who quit, 90% do so on their own. But in a given year, only about 1.7 million American smokers (3.6%) stop smoking.

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