Tobacco and Western Culture

Title of Paper : Essay 1: Tobacco and Western Culture
Grade Received on Report : 89

The use of tobacco dates back to the 17th century. The primary reason for its beginning
was purely economic at first. It later became apparent to researchers over the decades that tobacco was
more than just a commodity to be traded for economic gain. It was actually a drug, nicotine, which
developed into physical dependency and had adverse side effects as people began to live longer. Further
research at the social level, revealed its social impact on the western culture.
It didn\'t take long before early traders began to realize the economic benefits of trading
tobacco as a primary cash crop. Its known influences were completely overlooked to maintain the desired
income and trade benefits. In western culture, early settlers, saw tobacco as a primary source of support for
the family. It was entirely possible to grow tobacco and live a very good lifestyle. During the early years,
tobacco was not seen as a bad thing. Instead, it was actually a way of life. As time passed, govermental
agencies also began to see the economic benefits produced by the tobacco industry. Taxing the crop
became very lucrative and later resulted in subsidizing the farmers as needed to maintain taxation levels.
The advent of production cigarrettes soon opened doors for manufacturers which hadn\'t existed before. A
cheap and easy method of providing tobacco users a manageable product soon led to widespread use in the
western world. This attitude soon began to chang!
e, however, as researchers began publishing reports on the ill effects of smoking and tobacco use.
Tobacco lost a lot of its social influence when people began to understand its physical
effects. Tobacco use was linked with birth defects in pregnant women. Lung cancer was directly linked to
smoking in 1950 by the Cancer Control Department in the New York State Health department. It became
very clear that the past opposition to smoking and tobacco use was substantiated. It had also become clear
that smokers were in a group alone from the rest of society. Just as other groups grew and shrank with the
times, so would the smokers. Nicotine had been discovered to be the dependency factor in tobacco and
soon ranked a classification with other social drugs like alcohol and caffeine. Its use was seen to be just as
severe as these and warranted just as much focus in the social arena. This didn\'t stop people from using
tobacco. The reasons for tobacco use had already become more complex than just physically damaging.
Tobacco use had grown to be a social instrument. It can be easily proven that people
smoke for different reasons. Stress is now a large part of society and nictotine tends to reduce the stress
factor. There have also been reports of the soothing effects nicotine provides during times of prolonged
strain on the brain. This is typically due to long hours of reading or studying. The ability of nicotine to
soothe the mind allows the brain more concentration and thus the individual is able to more easily
comprehend the task at hand.
Despite the good and bad effects of tobacco use, it still continues today and I feel that it will be
some time before smoking is completely removed from society. Actually, it\'s not half bad considering the
alternatives of the 21st century. Consider pulling up in your car next to someone at a stop light smoking a
cigarette and think about seeing someone smoking marijuana. Which would you prefer?
Essay 2: Birth Control

The main reason to limit the population in a given society is to insure that a balance
between the resources available and the number of people is not exceeded. It is fundamental to the survival
of a given society that everyone has enough food, housing, and work to maintain certain social standards.
This has been done in many ways throughout the centuries. Birth control methods range from religious
belief to medical fact to social superstition. In all cases the limiting of newborn has effectively kept people
out of anarchy.
In looking at the history of birth control, it is easy to imagine why the population must be
regulated. Even today the situation is being recorded and studied to determine