The History of Smoking

by Joseph Stein


The history of smoking dates back to 5000BC were it was mostly a preserve of shamans in spiritual activities. Even then the kind of smoking avaliable was marijuana or cannibis smoking.

Cannibis first arrived on the scene or was at least better widely used than tobacco.

Tobacco as we know it only arrived in America in the 1600s. Amongst the Indian communities in America tobacco was actually used in treating different ailments

including headaches and tooth aches.

It was first accepted as a medical aid before becoming a widespread commercially produced end to temporary pleasure.

Jean Nicot from whose name came nicotine brought tobacco to France in 1560.

It then spread from France to England and much of Europe. From Europe, tobacco seeds found their way to Brazil.

Even before smoking tobacco arrived in France it hard already arrived on the continent of Africa a few years earlier in 1650.

Modern smoking became part of smoking history in the 1900s. As part of the Marshall Plan the United States illegally smuggled tobacco and cigarettes to Nazi Germany in the 1920s.

It is during the history of smoking in the 1900s that smoking dangers became more and more apparent as people started dying from smoking related lung cancer. In Germany in the 1920s the first ever anti-smoking campaigns began even though they were fiercely opposed in some sections.

Second World War saw the intensification of the use of tobacco and cigarettes in cinema. This was so for many years to come as cigarettes dominated hollyhood and were associated with sexism, macho and fashion. Even today there is an entire actor smoking list as appearing in cinema and movies.

Tobacco companies maximised their enrods into a generation hungry for a new identity. However, overally from 1965 to 2006 smoking declined from about 42% to 20%. The same can not be said about the cost of smoking healthcare wise.

As more people fell ill from smoking diseases, the health bill continued to balloon. Perhaps the turning point in smoking history was the admitting by tobacco companies of the existance of over 4000 compounds and over 500 additives in cigarrettes.

This raised public eyebrows to the real dangers of smoking hidden for generations.




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