Brian Cox delves into the history of addictive substances. He learns how smoking kick-started the British Empire and who first made the link between smoking and lung cancer.
Growing up in the streets of Dundee, actor Brian Cox was surrounded by tobacco. His entire family either smoked it or chewed it and yet Brian reveals, he never took up the habit. To find out why not, Brian travels to Virginia in the US to discover how the habit of smoking kick-started the British Empire and created a global market of addicts. Brian discovers how manufacturers conspired to make cigarettes the optimal nicotine delivery system and that the Nazis were the first to make the link between smoking and lung cancer. Brian also takes a gene test which reveals just why he never took up the habit.