Smoking is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Thus, it is hard to believe that it has been used as a medicine over the centuries.
Only in the last 70 years have the dangers to our health been recognized after hundreds of years of tobacco being used to heal everything from asthma to the plague.
The Wellcome Trust has released a collection of images that show the timeline of tobacco use since the 16th century and how opinions have shifted around it.
In the Georgian era – from 1714 to 1837 – one of the most unusual uses of tobacco was in a smoke enema to resuscitate victims of drowning (photo). Doctors at the time believed that tobacco smoke fought cold and sleepiness, making it a logical choice in the treatment of drowned people in need of warmth and stimulation. Kits consisting of a mouthpiece, fumigator and a pair of bellows were placed along the River Thames in London by the Royal Humane Society. Once it was discovered that the main ingredient in tobacco, nicotine, is toxic, the practice began to lose favor during the early 19th century
In the 16th century, tobacco simply came as a plant under the nightshade family, which includes tomatoes, aubergines, and peppers. The leaf was used for centuries in North and South America, where it was already used as a medical remedy and for religious reasons. Doctors became interested in the potential it also had for medicine in Europe. Pictured center, the plant, top left, the leaves dry and various photos of men smoking in Europe
Tobacco came to Europe as a plant with the promise of medical progress, after centuries of use in North and South America.
It was popularized as a way to ward off disease through the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, including being used to give a smoke enema to revive victims of drowning along the River Thames.
Smart marketing glamorized smoking through the 20th century, when even doctors light up in their rehearsal rooms.
An anti-tobacco movement gained more control in the sixties after the connection between smoking and lung cancer, heart disease and gastrointestinal problems became stronger.
Since the 1970s, the number of smokers has been declining gradually and now around 19 percent of the British population still smoke.
It is the leading cause of death and illness in Britain and claims more than 120,000 lives each year from associated illnesses, accounting for more than one fifth of deaths. This is comparable to the US, where it is responsible for approximately 480,000 deaths per year.
E-cigarettes are emerging as the modern replacement – but health experts are divided on their safety.
The first to raise red flags about tobacco use in Great Britain was King James VI of Scotland (not shown). In 1604 he wrote a publication called A Counterblaste to Tobacco, in which he expressed how much he did not like tobacco and in particular smoked. One of the first anti-tobacco publications, arguing that smoking was dangerous to the health of the lungs and to be offensive to the people around you – & # 39; harming yourself … and by all the strangers coming under you scorned and despised & he said. A rate was imposed on tobacco imports, although this was later lifted after it had a negative impact on the economy of the still young American colonies.
In 1618, the first standard medicine book in England was published by Royal College of Physicians (RCP) from London – and recommended tobacco as a remedy. & # 39; Pharmacopoeia Londinensis & # 39; (photo) enumerated all known medical medicines and how to use them, and everything outside could not be sold. It was recommended to use warm and dry tobacco leaf to combat the symptoms of colds and lethargy. The book was described as & # 39; a powerful weapon dressed as a book & # 39; by Dr. Louella Vaughan, an acute physician and clinical academic who has worked with the Royal College of Physicians
The plague struck London in 1665 and killed an estimated 100,000 people – nearly a quarter of London's population – in 18 months. It was currently assumed that the disease was spread by bad odors. Until science developed, the miasma theory was that diseases such as cholera and the Black Death were caught & # 39; were in the air. For this reason, people used tobacco as a way to protect themselves against disease. People who were charged with the removal of dead bodies always had a clay pipe hanging on their mouths (pictured)
This photo shows a typical & # 39; medical student & # 39; it smokes with a crucible. The belief that smoking could force disease was present for centuries and persisted. It became an accessory for doctors including surgeons and doctors. Anotmists – biological scientists studying the structure of the body – were advised to talk to cover the odor of the corpse or to protect against any illness that a body can have. It is not clear when this illustration was made, although the date is 1854
Incredibly, smoking was once used as a way to prevent asthma attacks, because doctors continued to use tobacco to treat diseases. It was seen that inhaling smoke was an effective method of delivering medicine to the lungs. Brands such as Potter & # 39; s asthma cigarettes used the plant stramonium instead of tobacco which may help to alleviate asthma symptoms, but the benefits would be offset by the irritation of smoke on the patient's air waves
According to Camel, doctors thought smoking was the most common after 113,597 people were interviewed in medicine. Health concerns about smoking began to take shape in the 1920s and 1930s, and to reassure their consumers, companies such as Camel used the image of the doctor to sell their products. Advertising claims that doctors recommend smoking and self-smoking, and it would have been unusual for doctors to actively encourage patients to give up their smoking habits. The ad also encourages smokers to use camels because it & # 39; fits your T-zone & # 39; – the throat and taste buds
In the 20th century and in 1962, the Royal College of Physicians published & # 39; Smoking and Health & # 39 ;, using the research of Richard Doll and Austin Bradford Hill to show that smoking causes serious illnesses. It called on the government to implement a series of public health measures to reduce cigarette smoking and to advise doctors to advise patients to stop. The report sold 33,000 copies in the first year and was widely translated, but it caused a media storm. The Daily Telegraph stated that the RCP & # 39; the location of the church as the main threat to human freedom & # 39; took
Initially, the response to & # 39; Smoking and Health was & # 39; (see above) to search for new, & # 39; healthier & # 39; cigarettes. But within a few years the emphasis shifted to encouraging people to give up the habit. The NHS launched its first anti-smoking units and the Ministry of Health issued posters (pictured here) to discourage smoking by emphasizing how smoking can save you money.
By the 1980s and 1990s, the health effects of passive smoking became clearer. This eventually led to a smoking ban in 2006-7 for all closed workshops in Great Britain. The emphasis was on education and prevention. For example, expectant mothers learned how the effects of smoking can harm an unborn child with the use of the & # 39; Smokey Sue & # 39; doll (photo)
The number of smokers in the United Kingdom is now at a historically low level. The e-cigarette replaced the tobacco leaf with nicotine and water vapor, first developed in the early 2000s. The invention initially raised concerns that e-cigarettes and vapes could increase the number of people causing nicotine addiction, although research by the RCP shows that vapes and e-cigarettes can be effective as an aid to quitting smoking. Thanks to the gadgets, 22,000 people have stopped smoking every year. Critics have said the long-term effects are unclear, and health authorities, such as NICE, claim that the evidence so far is too weak to advise them on counseling or nicotine patches.
INFRINGEMENT DAMAGE THE LUNGS LIKE CIGARETS, STUDY FIND
Popular heated tobacco devices can do the same damage to lung cells as traditional cigarettes, said researchers at the University of Technology Sydney.
Meanwhile, e-cigarettes – or vape, as is well known – are also toxic to the cells that protect the lungs, so may not be a safe alternative either.
Both electronic devices are now thought to cause respiratory damage in people with emphysema, bronchitis and cancer lung diseases.
Australian researchers did laboratory tests on the effects of the devices and cigarettes on epithelial cells and smooth muscle cells extracted from the human respiratory tract.
In healthy lungs, epithelial cells act as the first line of defense for foreign particles entering the airways, while smooth muscle cells retain their structure.
The study found that the devices damage the lung cells that protect the airways, in a similar way to cigarette smoke, causing scarring and the airways in lung patients.
The study found that the electronic devices caused this damage, including changes in cell structure and function, as well as a & # 39; cry for help & # 39; inflammatory response.
That inflammatory response was just as strong for the heated tobacco machine as when the lung cells were exposed to smoke from Marlboro Red cigarettes.