Showing posts with label Tobacconist Tobacco Plant. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tobacconist Tobacco Plant. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


One of the advantages of smoking, as said by an exponent of the habit, is that it reduces stress and prevents the man from doing senseless acts against others under stress. The smoking or the use of tobacco has no advantages to point out other than the perverted one quoted above. The tobacco remains as number one threat to health.

The habit of smoking or using of tobacco by the mankind has a long history starting from 5000 B C and continuing in one form or other till now. In the Middle-East, smoking Hookah, goes beyond an habit to sharing it with the guests and friends as part of the hospitality and custom. There are Hookah bars in the U.S, in areas of the middle-east settlements and all kinds of people visit them. Once accustomed to the use of tobacco it is hard to come out of it and the Multi  billion dollar tobacco industry rests assured on the perennial weakness of man to wriggle out of tobacco.
The bad luck for tobacco began from the middle of 20th century when medical science with its advanced knowledge and techniques made a serious research on the habit of smoking. It did not take a long probe to find out a host of medical problems related to smoking. And from then on the propaganda against smoking started. The doctors severely warned patients; teachers and guardians warned the young ones against its use and the Governments increased tax and put restrictions on its sale and use.

The smoking in public places has been banned in many countries and it surely has affected the number of newcomers. But when I asked a tobacconist how the sales are going after Government restrictions he said there was no dip in the business. The increased life expectancy and the general population growth must be saving the industry from bankruptcy.

Tobacco is cultivated in more than a hundred countries in about 4 Million Hectares. The big producers of tobacco include India, Russia, Cuba, Brazil and Pakistan, while the major producer is the China. In China it is a State owned business and brings in revenue to the tune of about $11 Billion a year.  In Russia too it is a source of major income and in Cuba the export of   tobacco covers 10 percent of its G D P. The tobacco growing countries are, therefore, in a dilemma.  On one side they cannot ignore the income from it to do away with the cultivation and sale of tobacco but on the other, its threat to public health can not also be ignored. The diplomatic method most countries adopted is to grow tobacco and at the same time make the public aware of its dangers.

The cultivation of tobacco is just like any other plants. First the soil is arranged to plant seeds and when the plants become six inches tall they are transplanted to fields in rainy season. The plants are ready for processing in a few months. The entire plants are cut at the ground level and cured or left to dry by various processes. The way tobacco cured determines its quality and taste. The uncured tobacco has nothing of its characteristic ' qualities' the long process of curing makes it a commercial product. It will remind us the maturation process of Scotch whiskey.
The photo above is tobacco left to curing in open space. It is called air curing. There are also other processes like sun curing fire curing etc. The process takes several weeks to and then they are sorted, packed and sent to its destinations.

 A major portion of the produce goes to the manufacture of cigarettes.  Very strong pesticides are used to ward off various pests that attack the plants. while the tobacco itself is poison and one can imagine what happens when  pesticides are also sprayed on it.

The tobacco reaches at last in an exotic tobacconist’s shop where every variety of tobacco, cigarettes, cigars, pipes, lighters, and even ash-trays are displayed neatly in a Victorian style surroundings. The elite customers come and after some small talk choose carefully their favorite brand and smoke contentedly.

The tobacco is unlikely to go from the face of earth soon  and will remain here  to hasten the departure of its lovers.

Images from Google