• Origin of the Smoking Culture

    Origin of the Smoking Culture

    Humans are interesting creatures since they are the only species in the animal kingdom that actually enjoy smoking.

    What’s interesting about smoking is how we take pleasure in lighting up something and inhaling the smoke that it produces. It might have a variety of flavors but if you blow this “flavor” into your pet’s face, they will wander off in complete disgust.

    Humans have been smoking for thousands of years but where exactly did it begin?

    How It All Started

    Shamanistic rituals around 5000 BC included smoking and originated from Ecuadorian and Peruvian Andes. Civilizations such as the Chinese and Indian ones burnt incense as part of their religious rituals, as did the Babylonians and the Israelites. Orthodox Christian and Catholic churches also adopted this ritual.

    However, people started using smoking as a social tool in the early 200s. A variety of substances was used to create hallucinogenic highs and trance like effects. Cannabis was more popular and more widely used than tobacco or other smokable substances. It was smoked using a certain kind of water pipe called a hookah. Cannabis was very popular in the Middle East and is believed to have existed in at least 2000BC. Slowly, tobacco became more popular and was used in many social events such as funerals and weddings.

    The popularity of smoking tobacco became an avenue for making profits and creating employment in some countries. Virginia is one of the countries that benefited from growing and exporting tobacco after several failed attempts at gold mining. It wasn’t long before tobacco smoking was introduced in Europe. In the 1500s, smoking was associated with other luxury products such as wine and other types of alcohol.

    The very first machine to be used for mass production of cigarettes was invented in the 1800s when cigarette smoking had reached its peak and was a significant money-making product. This machine was used to speed up the process of manufacturing cigarettes. From this, the popularity of cigarette smoking became very popular in the United Kingdom in the early 1900s. Unfortunately, the number of people that became diagnosed with lung cancer dramatically increased. It is at this time that people realized just how harmful smoking was to their health.

    Why do we still enjoy smoking?

    Ever since its introduction outside of America, smoking has received much vehement opposition. People who were opposed to it argued about how morally unacceptable it was and its socio-economic aspects. Most of the claims were of course not based on scientific arguments and if they were, they relied on pre-modern scientific methods.

    Once people realized just how harmful smoking was, the number of people who engaged in the activity declined from 40% to 20%. This is just the percentage recorded in the early 2000s but it seems like the number has started to increase.

    Fast forward to the year 2012 and we see that smoking has taken a new twist.

    People have accepted that smoking is a norm and is part and parcel of our culture. We have been smoking for thousands of years despite the health risks that it carries. However, people have become more aware of their health and this is why the electronic cigarette was introduced.

    We have become more health conscious and this is considered the main reason behind the popularity of the electronic cigarette. People are now more confident that they can smoke the e-cigarette and worry a lot less about the health consequences.

    Unlike traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes are a lot less toxic and so-far seem to carry very few health problems.

    With the e-cigarette, the user inhales vapor rather than smoke. This means that the amount of cancerous toxins inhaled are significantly reduced and the lungs are not polluted with tar.

    So why do people still enjoy smoking today?

    There are many answers to this question but the main one is because it has been accepted as a norm. It is part of our social culture and we have come up with a variety of devices to help make it safer and healthier. From the look of things, smoking is not going anywhere and the e-cigarette could easily replace the smoking culture. Once the e-cigarette gets approved by the MHRA, then it could easily be popular among tobacco smokers.