Marijuana vs. Tobacco

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{text:bookmark-start} Marijuana vs. Tobacco {text:bookmark-end} Though many people feel differently, statistics show that marijuana has more harmful effects than tobacco. Most of the time, people are misinformed about the effects relating to tobacco and marijuana smoke. Cannabis smoke has a more substantial amount of harmful chemicals than tobacco and the way people smoke them makes a big difference when it comes to long and short-term effects. The nineteenth century, also known as the age of the cigar, was a turning point for tobacco. People learned how to manufacture cigarettes that were sold individually and in rolls.

Then they began using many different types of tobacco in cigarettes like Turkish and Mexican tobacco which is darker and richer. Manufacturing tobacco boomed and the companies that became of it were household names all over the world. By the twentieth century, there were approximately 300,000 cigar brands on the market. As well as the incline of tobacco brands, this time period also contained many anti-cigarette laws and controversy dealing directly with health issues caused by smoking. In this time period, tobacco was often advertised in the entertainment business to make it seem “cool” to boost sales. draw:frame} The next most popular type of plant that can be smoked is marijuana. Marijuana is the most used illegal drug in the United States and nearly 69 million Americans over the age of 12 have tried it at least once. Cannabis, like tobacco, was discovered around 6000 BC in the form of a plant called hemp. China was the first country to start using the plant, they cultivated it for food, fiber, and to weave it into fine cloth and rope during 1500 BC. Marijuana completely spread through Europe by 100 BC and to Egypt, Iraq, and Persia in the twelfth century.

By this time, it was being used as an inebriant for people to get a “high” feeling often in the form of hashish. Hashish is a purified resin that is prepared from the flowering tops of a female cannabis plant that is smoked or chewed. In the seventeenth century, Hashish became a major trade item between central and south Asia. Hashish became available in America in 1840 at Persian pharmacies as a form of medicine. Smoking hashish became very popular throughout the Middle East in the early twentieth century. Around the same time, smoking of the cannabis plant in its natural state also became popular in America.

In the 1920’s recreational use of cannabis was banned in many place including Britain, and the south west states in America. American schools then used the propaganda film “Reefer Madness” in schools to scare the youth from using the drug that alters the way they’re brain thinks. Cannabis was eventually made federally illegal in the U. S. with the marijuana tax act of 1937. In 1975, the FDA established a compassionate use program for medical marijuana research. Today, heavy civil fights still continue in the Middle East over hashish trade and marijuana is mostly illegal in the U.

S. with serious consequences if caught with it. Canada legally offers medical marijuana to its patients as well as the west coast states in America including California being the first state to follow this trend. The effects of marijuana are very similar to those of tobacco. Unlike tobacco, cannabis contains THC, which is the addictive component that changes the way sensory information from the brain gets into the hippocampus. This component of the brain’s limbic system is crucial for learning, memory, and behavioral functions.

Effects on the lungs are similar yet they can be up to five times greater than among tobacco smokers. When a person smokes marijuana, they inhale more deeply and hold the smoke in the lungs for a considerably longer amount of time. Cannabis smoke also contains some of the same cancer-causing compounds as tobacco, but usually in higher concentrations. {draw:frame} If you were to go up to a tobacco smoker and ask them what the effects of their habit are doing to them, they might give you a typical answer like, “All I know is its bad for you” or “It hurts your lungs and gives you cancer. Unless a person is in the tobacco business or they sit down to find what all the effects are, they will never truly know what smoking is doing to their body except that they are hurting it. Many marijuana smokers, on the other hand, do not know anything about the drug other than what they hear from their friends. The biggest misconception I hear all too often from my peers is that tobacco is way worse than marijuana, and that marijuana is not harmful at all. Like I stated previously, because of the way cannabis is smoked, that in itself makes it five times worse than tobacco smoke.

Now that most teenagers think that marijuana is harmless, it is causing them to start trying it at younger ages every year, especially with peer pressure. Think about it, if marijuana was not harmless, why is it illegal? Even though marijuana is illegal in mo st places now, its users are constantly trying to change that. If one day people are free to smoke it as they please, they should consider all the outcomes that come with it as well. Tobacco is already killing people every day so try to quit, unless you want to be just another statistic. {text:bookmark-start} References text:bookmark-start} Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2007). Smoking & Tobacco Use. Retrieved January 16, 2009, from http://www. cdc. gov/tobacco/basic_information/index. htm {text:bookmark-end} {text:bookmark-start} Drug Policy Alliance Network (n. d. ). Marijuana: the facts. Retrieved January 16, 2009, from http://www. drugpolicy. org/marijuana/factsmyths/ {text:bookmark-end} {text:bookmark-start} Georgiades, K. , & Boyle, M. H. (2007). Adolescent tobacco and cannabis use: young adult outcomes from the Ontario Child Health Study.

Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry, 48(724), 31. {text:bookmark-end} {text:bookmark-start} National Cancer Institute (n. d. ). Quitting Smoking: Why To Quit and How To Get Help. Retrieved January 16, 2009, from http://www. cancer. gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Tobacco/cessation {text:bookmark-end} {text:bookmark-start} Palmer, J. (2007, 12/22/2007). Cannabis smoke beats tobacco for toxic chemicals.. New Scientist, 196(2638/2636), 9-9. {text:bookmark-end} {text:bookmark-start} Pomranz, K. (2008). New pot dangers. Good Housekeeping, 246(3), 105-105. {text:bookmark-end}