The History and Effect Smoking has on our SocietySpike Frye
Introduction to Sociology
September 26, 2012
Smoking cigarettes have been determined to be responsible for the premature death of over 400,000 people each year in the United States. It has been described as the single most preventable disease today. This paper will cover a basic overview of the history of smoking, advertising, health findings, and legal liability realized from cigarette manufactures. The current trends and laws concerning the use of tobacco will also be addressed.
Most of us know that George Washington was America’s first President of the United States. This is common knowledge and still taught today in public schools. However, one of the more astonishing facts that is generally not discussed is that George Washington inherited an enormous tobacco plantation that was comprised of 10,000 acres of land as well as approximately 50 slaves who were transported to the Americas from Africa. Because of the rising prices of tobacco in the 1730’s, George Washington at the age of 21 was one of the wealthiest men in Virginia. (Badertscher, 2005, p.2). Could this have been one of the first accounts that sociologist Karl Marx (1818-1883) assessed when formulating his theory of social conflict. In the example of George Washington and his tobacco plantation, capitalism and the alienation that it produced among its slaves, who were tirelessly working in the tobacco fields was rampant during that time and also making George Washington a very rich man. The popularity of smoking in the 1700’s would continue to grow for the next 200 years in the United States. Along with this path little if any regulation from our government would follow. Because of the addictive qualities that are a part of the cigarette and its tobacco, our society would slowly and unknowingly become addicted. Many years would go by and by…