Table of Contents
The history of smoking can be traced back to 5000 BC in the Americas. We should look deep into shamanistic rituals of that time. In the 16th century, Europeans came. They actively cultivated and promoted tobacco. The active modernization of farming equipment, as well as manufacturing, ramped up the availability of tobacco products after the reconstruction era in the USA. Eventually, mass production rapidly expanded the scope of tobacco consumption that soared until the scientific controversies of the 1960s as well as condemnation in the 1980s.
As a matter of fact, cannabis was a common thing in Eurasia prior to the arrival of tobacco. It had been actively utilized since 5000 BC. Apparently, cannabis wasn’t commonly consumed until the emergence of tobacco in the 16th century. Prior to that, cannabis along with other plants was burned as incense, vaporized on hot rocks or inhaled indirectly. There’s evidence of smoking before the 16th century. Pipes were employed to smoke cannabis approximately in the 10th-12th centuries in Southeastern Africa.
Earlier opium was eaten solely for medical purposes but in the 19th century when Great Britain became to trade with China people started smoking that drug. It gave birth to a great number of Opium dens. In the second half of the 19th century, opium smoking became extremely popular with European artists. While Opium dens kept existing around the globe, the trend in Europe abated during World War I and also among the Chinese during the cultural revolution.
More active cigarette usage and spurred life expectancy in the 1920s made negative health effects more evident. In 1929, in Germany, Fritz Lickint released formal statistical evidence of lung cancer that provoked a powerful anti-smoking movement in Hitler’s Germany. Well, until 1954 when the British Doctors Study emerged and 1964 when the United States Surgeon General’s report showed up the subject was taboo. Tobacco got stigmatized that provoked the greatest civil settlement in American history – the Tobacco Master Settlement or MSA for short.
Smoking has been actively practiced in several forms since ancient times. In the Ecuadorian and Peruvian Andes, a variety of hallucinogenic drugs and tobacco were smoked since 5000 BC for shamanistic purposes. A great number of ancient civilizations, including the Chinese, Indians, and Babylonians were used to burning incense as part of their rituals. The same was true for Orthodox Christian and Israelites churches.
Tobacco as well as various hallucinogenic drugs were actively smoked all over the Americas since 5000 BC in various shamanistic rituals and were utilized in the Peruvian as well as the Ecuadorian Andes. However, the burning of incense can’t be regarded as direct inhalation. We don’t know how much cannabis resin that incense actually contained and if it descended from psychoactive types of cannabis or probably opium. Besides this, the ancient Assyrians made use of cannabis fumes as a remedy for limbs. They tried to treat arthritis with it.
Herodotos mentioned that the Scythians were used to vaporizing cannabis seeds as part of their religious rituals. The Scythians had created a sweat lodge that has been utilized ritualistically by several different people. In 1947-1949, Sergei Ivanovich Rudenko managed to discover a Scythian burial site having a miniature version at Pazyryk in the Tien Shan Mountains. So, a leather pouch with cannabis seed was stuck to one pole of the tent. Furthermore, coriander seeds were found there too. Most probably a mixture of cannabis seeds along with coriander seeds was vaporized on the hot rocks for the purpose of creating a thick fragrant for psychotropic smoke in ritual bathing.
As Robicsek points out, smoking in the Americas started exactly in incense-burning rituals and was later used for pleasure or social purposes. The Maya used from the 10th century, while the Aztecs mentioned smoking in their mythology. By the way, the Aztec goddess Cihuacoahuatl boasted a body made of tobacco. As a result, the priests that performed human sacrifices had to put on tobacco gourds to symbolize divinity.
The smoking of tobacco, as well as various other hallucinogenic stuff, was employed to achieve trances and to reach out to the spirit world. Furthermore, reports from the first European explorers and conquistadors tell about rituals where native folks were used to smoke themselves into such extreme degrees of intoxication that it was clear they were used something stronger than tobacco. However, there’s no concrete evidence of what they smoked. However, it feels like their tobacco was very strong and they smoked it in very large amounts or mixed it with something unknown.
As for early North America, local folks were used to smoking pipes for religious or social purposes. Very often representatives of warring tribes smoked pipes. In the Caribbean, South and Central America, Mexico, people smoked reeds and later shifted to cigars. In that region, smoking is even reflected in pottery and engravings.
After Europeans came to the Americas in the late 15th century they made tobacco smoking a common thing. By the way, at the banquets of Aztec noblemen, dinner started by passing out fragrant flowers and also smoking tubes for guests. At the end of the event that would last all night, the smoking tubes, food, and flowers would be given as a sort of alms to poor and old folks who had been invited to witness the event social, or it would be granted to the servants.
In addition to this, four non-Arab baked clay pipes were discovered in Lochinvar National Park in Zambia at the Iron Age Sebanzi Hill site. According to radiocarbon dating, they were in use approximately in the 10th- 2nd century CE. By the way, the pipes weren’t chemically analyzed. There was a theory that they were utilized for smoking cannabis due to the fact they actually showed up before the introduction of tobacco.
The Native American tribes warmly welcomed Columbus in 1492. He came across them when he first discovered the new continent. They brought him spears, fruit, food as well as other things. In addition to this, they also presented the dried leaves of the tobacco plant. The Native Americans had been smoking those leaves for a long time. They utilized them for primarily for medical as well as religious purposes. Columbus realized it was a great gift and took it aboard.
Rodrigo de Jerez along with Luis de Torres happens to be the first Europeans to observe smoking. Well, the place it occurred was Cuba. Jerez became a staunch smoker. He brought that habit back to Spain.
History of Smoking in Europe
The Holy Inquisition arrested Jerez soon due to the fact his neighbors were frightened by the smoke coming out of his nose and mouth. As a result, he was detained for up to seven years. However, after a while, the habit became a common thing in Portugal and Spain. It was mostly popularized by seafarers.
Portuguese sailors got down to planting tobacco in the 15th century. They did it around almost all of their trading outposts. That was quite enough for gifts as well as personal use. However, that wasn’t enough for them. Soon they made up their mind to go ahead. So, by my-century, the sailors started to grow tobacco in Brazil for commercial purposes. Their undertaking turned out to be quite successful. It was an extremely popular commodity and actively traded in the American and European ports.
By the end of the 16th century, the plant brought by Columbus was introduced literally to every European nation. As a result, European began to actively use it in their everyday life. They either smoked or snuffed that stuff based on their preference. What’s more, doctors of that time dared to claim it had certain healing properties. For example, in 1571, Nicolas Monardes came up with a book in which he outlined up to 36 diseases the plant could reportedly cure.
History of Tobacco in the United States of America
In the United States, tobacco products gained strong popularity during the Revolutionary War. Tobacco and the war were like spouses in 1776. Revolutionaries utilized tobacco as collateral for the loans they obtained from France.
Philip Morris was established in Great Britain in 1847. The company turned out to be the first seller of hand-rolled Turkish cigarettes. However, soon the practice was followed by the US company .E. Liggett and Brother founded in 1849 in St. Louis. Notwithstanding the fact chewing tobacco happened to be the most popular kind of tobacco in the 19th century and the company R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company was established in 1875 and manufactured exactly chewing tobacco, cigarettes gradually gained popularity.
The true triumph of cigarettes came with the advent of the cigarette-making machine. It was invented in 1881 by James Bonsack. His revolutionary mechanism was capable of rolling up to 210 cigarettes a minute. For 10 hours, its output reached the mind-blowing figure of 20,000 cigarettes.
By the way, brilliant innovations like the Bonsack machine were followed by the US as well as international inventions that further boosted cigarette output and packaging. Today, cigarette-producing machines are so advanced that a Japanese manufacturer, Japan Tobacco also makes a machine applying semiconductors to have boards circuited.
The Proliferation of Tobacco Products
During the first and second world wars tobacco products reached the climax of their popularity. As a matter of fact, tobacco firms managed to send millions of packs of cigarettes to warriors on the front lines, thus creating hundreds of thousands of addicted smokers. Tobacco products were part of soldiers’ so-called C-rations that included generally supplements and food.
During the 1920s, tobacco companies started actively reaching out to women with a specific message. They tried to make smoking more attractive to women, more feminine. As a result of that marketing campaign, by 1935, the overall number of smoking women in the United States grew three times.
There’s nothing new in hazards closely connected with smoking. It’s known literally to anybody these days, even to kids. When people started smoking, some clever and very far-sighted folks knew for sure that the habit was fairly dangerous for the human body and extremely addictive. Fang Yizhi, a Chinese philosopher was one of the first scientists of the 17th century who drew attention to the real dangers of smoking. He noted that it could have an adverse impact on the lungs.
In 1610, Francis Bacon pointed to the very addictive nature of the habit. At that time, people didn’t know that it was the nicotine that was responsible for those addictive effects for smokers. Nevertheless, far-sighted people rightfully guessed the reason for the addiction and did their best to attract attention to the issue.
In the United Kingdom, in 1761 snuff users were officially warned about the real dangers of nose cancer. Meanwhile, in 1795, German doctors warned pipe smokers about the likelihood of developing lip cancer. Additionally, in the 1930s, US doctors started associating smoking with lung cancer. Eventually, General Surgeon’s report (1964) ascertains that smoking provokes lung cancer in the masculine population.
Smoking These Days
These days smoking is more strictly regulated. A great number of companies have ended up losing thousands of lawsuits. They currently have to label their products as having a negative effect on the human body. In addition to this, tobacco advertising is strictly restricted to mass media.
Nevertheless, tobacco companies manage to earn billions of dollars every year and they do this at the cost of destroying the health of a great number of people. According to recent estimates, there are approximately one billion tobacco users around the globe today. As a matter of fact, the damage provoked by this addiction as well as its peddlers numbers literally in trillions of dollars of health expenses and environmental disruptions and more effort needs to be made to teach folks, in particular, teens and young adults, about the awful hazards of smoking and their no less terrible consequences.