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Top 10 facts about tobacco

TODAY is World No Tobacco Day, which has been celebrated on May 31 every year since it was created by the World Health Organisation in 1988.

  1. The word tobacco comes from a Caribbean language but it is unclear whether it meant a tube of tobacco leaves or the pipe they were smoked in.
  2. The island of Tobago was once called tavaco or tobaco, possibly for its cigar-like shape.
  3. The annual tax revenue from tobacco in the UK is more than £12 billion
  4. Around a third of the world’s adult population are smokers.
  5. It was been calculated that every cigarette a person smokes reduces their expected life span by 11 minutes.
  6. Worldwide, 15 billion cigarettes are smoked every day.
  7. In 1604 King James VI wrote A Counterblaste To Tobacco, attacking the practice of smoking.
  8. He described it as a “Custome lothsome to the eye, hatefull to the Nose, harmefull to the braine, dangerous to the Lungs.”
  9. In 1665 pipe-smoking was compulsory among pupils at Eton as a defence against the plague.
  10. Rodrigo de Jerez, a crewman of Columbus, was the first known European smoker. He was thrown in jail for it as exhaling smoke was seen as satanic.

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