The National Review has a video regarding the regulation of tobacco by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Senator from North Carolina argues that the FDA shouldn’t be allowed to regulate tobacco products because the FDA should only be concerned with regulating drugs that save or improve lives. He seems to forget that the FDA already regulates the use of narcotics including marijuana because these are addictive substances. Nicotine is the MOST addictive substance on this planet, even more so than heroin and alcohol, and yet people can freely purchase it as an over the counter drug. The Native Americans used tobacco as a medicine until the arrival of the Europeans which changed all that. Here’s more about Native Americans and tobacco use.
If tobacco was orginally considered a medicine, what changed it to a recreational drug? The profit margin that it generates from nicotine addiction. The Europeans quickly became addicted and wanted more and more and more so colonies in Virginia and the Carolinas began their tobacco plantations and shipped their “drug” to Europe.
The way I see it, introducing tobacco to the Europeans was pay back by the Native Americans for the abuse that was enforced upon them by these invaders . The tobacco product was provided without instructions on its use. Now, we have a world filled with nicotine addicts and the big tobacco companies are smiling all the way to the bank. In the meantime, Native Americans are striving to get back to their roots and re-establish their sacred and medicinal relationship with tobacco.