Tobacco from which the best cigarette comes from, originated in the Americas, and soon spread around the world after the discovery of the New World.
Today, smoking is one of the most popular pastimes of people around the world. Every now and then, you see film characters puffing a Dunhill cigarette. Young people try to imitate what these movie stars are doing because they are their idols. And before they know it, they are already addicted to the vice. Today, there is a war being waged against tobacco smoking. In Davao City, the government bans smoking inside the public places like malls, cinemas, and restaurants.
Because of this, those involved in the tobacco industry are now searching for alternative uses of the product aside from cigarette. In fact, scientists from all over the world are looking for new uses for tobacco. One potential use is as a natural pesticide, due to tobacco's content of toxic nicotine. "For centuries, gardeners have used home-made mixtures of tobacco and water as a natural pesticide to kill insect pests," the Science Daily reported.
A "green" pesticide industry based on tobacco could provide additional income for farmers, and as well as a new eco-friendly pest-control agent, the scientists say. They describe a promising way to convert tobacco leaves into pesticides with pyrolysis.
That process involves heating tobacco leaves to about 900 degrees Fahrenheit in a vacuum, to produce an unrefined substance called bio-oil. The scientists tested tobacco bio-oil against a wide variety of insect pests, including 11 different fungi, four bacteria, and the Colorado potato beetle.
The oil killed all of the beetles and blocked the growth of two types of bacteria and one fungus. "Even after removal of the nicotine, the oil remained a very effective pesticide," the scientists who conducted the study claimed. The Florida-based Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization (Echo) has developed two tobacco sprays against some pests and diseases. For the first tobacco spray, 250 grams of dried tobacco leaves, stems or dust are boiled in four liters of water for 20 minutes.
It is allowed to cool and then filtered through layered cotton cloth. Four more liters of water are added to the solution. Fifty grams of bar soap are also added. The solution can be poured into sorghum and corn funnels to kill stalk borer. It can be applied as a soil drench around plants to kill cutworms. It can be used to spray beans to prevent rust disease and also to control aphids, beetles, cabbage worms, caterpillars, grain weevils, leaf miners, mites, stem borers and thrips.
The solution is especially effective against biting or sucking insects. When applied weekly with a brush, it is effective against ticks and fleas in cattle. In the second tobacco spray, one kilogram of crushed or bruised tobacco stalks and leaves are soaked in 15 liters of water for 24 hours.
The solution is then filtered; and three to five tablespoon of liquid soap is added. It is sprayed immediately to plants. Studies have shown that nicotine in tobacco solution can enter the body through the skin. Once the nicotine is inside the body, the person may experience nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and breathing difficulties.
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