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Researchers Discover Nicotine Dependence In Mummies

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School children look at the mummy of a seven-year old Inca child, which was found along with two other frozen mummieson the top of the Llullaillaco volcano in the Argentine Andes near the border with Chile. (Photo by JUAN MABROMATA/AFP/Getty Images)

School children look at the mummy of a seven-year old Inca child, which was found along with two other frozen mummieson the top of the Llullaillaco volcano in the Argentine Andes near the border with Chile. (Photo by JUAN MABROMATA/AFP/Getty Images)

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ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta warn Americans on their official website against the addictive nature of tobacco and nicotine use.

It’s a lesson ancient civilizations learned the hard way, according to recently discovered scientific evidence obtained from Chilean mummies.

According to LiveScience, hair obtained from mummies found in Chile revealed nicotine habits dating back to 100 B.C. and spanning all socio-economic classes of the ancient society.

Hermann Niemeyer, study co-author and organic chemist at the University of Chile, additionally noted that the discovery goes against previous beliefs about drug use in the studied culture.

“The idea was that around A.D. 400, people in San Pedro de Atacama (SPA) smoked tobacco in pipes, and then after that time, they gradually switched to inhaling dimethyltryptamines in snuffing trays,” he was quoted as saying by the science news website. “What we show is that’s not correct.”

Researchers involved in the study reportedly looked closely at the hair of 35 mummies, whose ages varied. In the hair, they found evidence of nicotine use and even dependence, which Niemeyer said was “definitely unexpected.”

LiveScience learned that the study will be published in the Journal of Archaeological Science later this year.

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