I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.
Nicotine. Two Three thoughts come to mind after reading this chapter. The first: I have to wonder how many possible medical applications we could have found throughout the ages if we'd studied nicotine before we started smoking tobacco. I can't help but think medicine has been set back by our own vices.
The second though is less virtuous. It occurred to me while reading this chapter that the American Indians may have gotten their own back just a little bit by introducing Europe to tobacco. It certainly doesn't come close to balancing the scales, but it does appeal to me that the exchange of devastating, life-altering diseases wasn't entirely one-sided.
The third thought pertains to the comment Harkup made towards the end, about cigarettes today containing less tobacco and more nicotine that cigarettes from the 30's. Apparently today they use reconstituted tobacco and additives, which means that really, people today are pretty much smoking the tobacco equivalent of chicken mcnuggets.