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History and Usage
Tobacco was one of the first things, which made an impression on Columbus, when he arrived in the New World; in his diary he noted, that one of the native inhabitants brought him a few dried leaves, which were obviously considered to be much valuable there. The first Europeans saw how the Red Indians smoked the folded leaves of tobacco, but they could not understand why the aborigines became intoxicated from the smoke. Several years later Amerigo Vespucci noticed that some tribes chewed tobacco mixed with cracked mussel-shells and of course he found this custom repellent. The first curious Spaniards, who tried smoking like the Red Indians, attracted the attention of the Inquisition, which found a wide field for action in the struggle against the devilish habit.
Nicotine can be absorbed in all possible ways, as long as it does not pass through the digestive system, because it is very fast defused in the liver. Today nicotine is absorbed mostly by smoking, as we take aside the special chewing-gums for those, who want to give up smoking. One cigarette usually contains not more than 10 mg. nicotine, but for 10 drags of a cigarette the smoker absorbs only about 10% from it; a typical cigar or pipe contains more nicotine, but this correlation is from the same order.