This is a tranlation. If the French says "tabac", then the English should say "tobacco".It is the fact of smoking which kills or is banned.
Tobacco (tabac in French) here is a generic term. Tobacco on its own does not kill (I don't think so, at least),
Chewing the stuff will kill you too.
it's what you make with it (smoking) which does.
Smoking indicates an action, while tobacco is the ingredient, if I may say.