Have you ever ask yourself these few questions when you smoke a cigarette:
- Why is smoking so popular around the world?
- Who is the first person to smoke?
- When was the first cigarette invented?
- Who grew and harvest the tobacco plant?
- How many types of plant are we able to smoke?
All these questions will lead you to the history of smoking, open the doors to your curiosity. Let us travel back in time to find out more about when cigarettes are first found.
The Early Use Of Tobacco
The history of smoking dated back as early as 5000 BC. Tobacco and hallucinogenic drugs were used all over Americans at that time. Smoking in America had its origins in the incense-burning ceremonies of Shamans, but was changed to use for pleasure later.
The smoking of tobacco, mixed with other hallucinogenic drugs were used to achieve trances and believed to come in contact with the spiritual world. The native priests would smoked themselves into very high degrees of intoxication that it was believed tobacco was not solely the only drug. However, it was still a mystery what was added to allow the priests to reach that stage.
A priest using a smoking pipe
In North America, the most common form of smoking was through pipes. In the Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America, smoking reeds and cigars were the most common smoking tools.
When the Europeans arrived in America in the late 15th century, tobacco smoking was already widely accepted as a recreational activity. At the banquets of Aztec nobles, fragrant flowers and smoking tubes would be passed to the dinner guests before the meals commenced. After the feast, the left over flowers, smoking tubes and food would be given to the old and poor people who had been invited to witness the social event, or rewarded the servants.
In the 16th century, smoking, cultivation and trading of tobacco began widespread around the world. By mid 17th century, every major civilization already knew what tobacco smoking was. Tobacco, both product and plants were traded heavily to major ports and markets, and then into the hinterlands.
History Of Smoking Bans – Early Smoking Bans Imposed
After tobacco was introduced to the old world, it was under heavy criticism from state and religious leaders.
- Murad IV, sultan of the Ottoman Empire (1623-1640) was noted to be one of the first person to impose a smoking ban, claiming it to be a threat to the public moral and health.
- Chongzhen, the Chinese Emperor issued a edict to ban smoking two years before he died and the overthrow of Ming Dynasty.
- Manchu of Qing Dynasty, originally a tribe of nomadic horse warriors, proclaimed that smoking was a more serious offence that neglecting archery.
- Shogunate, Edo period Japan, claimed that tobacco plantations were a major threat to the military economy by letting valuable farmland go wasted for the use of a recreational drug instead of being used to plant food crop.
- Patriarch of Moscow, 1634, prohibited the sale of tobacco and punished men and women who opposed the ban to have their nostrils slit and whipped their back until skin came off their backs.
Despite worldwide efforts to ban tobacco, all these efforts were ignored and tobacco continued to gain its popularity.
Tobacco Smoking Popularized In Europe
A Frenchman, Jean Nicot (that's how nicotine is derived) brought tobacco to France in 1560. After that, tobacco was spread to England. Like tea, coffee and opium, tobacco was initially used as a form of medications. However, the concept of inhaling substances in the form of smoke was entirely new and was met with both astonishment and with great skepticism.
Tobacco Smoking Popularized In South Asia
Cannabis smoking in India was recorded since 2000 BC. Fumigation and fire offerings were practiced mainly for medical purposes back then for at least 3,000 years. The substances used included clarified butter (ghee), fish offal, dried snake skins and various pastes molded around incense sticks and lit to spread the smoke over wide areas.
The practice of inhaling smoke has been used as a remedy for many different ailments, which is recommended to be performed daily to promote general health. In olden days, smoking was done with pipes with stems of various length. Today, pipe smoking is entirely replaced by cigarette smoking.
Tobacco Smoking Popularized In Middle East
A type of water pipe called Hookah was commonly used during social activities become the arrival of tobacco in the Middle East. The pipe usually have several tubes which allow several people to smoke at the same time. If not, the nozzle would be passed from person to person.
After tobacco was introduced, smoking became an essential part of Muslim society and culture, especially during weddings and funerals.
Hookah most likely originated from India, but it was in Safavid dynasty Persia that it became a refined smoking tool. Both the rich and poor smoked. The rich would used finely crafted glass and precious metal while the common people used coconut with bamboo tubing. Water pipe remained popular as the most common smoking tool until the introduction of cigarette in the 20th century.
Tobacco Smoking Popularized In East Asia
After Europeans discovered Americans, tobacco was spread to Asia, firstly by Spanish and Portuguese, later by English and Dutch. The first country was believed to be Philippines, in early 1570s.
In early 17th century, a type of long stemmed Japanese pipe used for smoking was so popular that it was mentioned in the Buddhist test book for children. The practice of tobacco smoking evolved from Japanese tea ceremony by using many traditional object used to burn incense for tobacco smoking. The incense burner slowly changed into a pot for tobacco embers and the incense pot became an ash tray.
Tobacco Smoking Popularized In African
In the early 13th century, cannabis smoking was brought into Sub-Saharan Africa and spread on the same road that carry coffee. Early smoking used calabash water pipes with terra cotta smoking bowls. Smoking was later spread to eastern, southern and central Africa.
Tobacco was later introduced around 1600 by French merchants in Gambia and Senegal. Tobacco became popular in 1650s and was quickly accepted by African cultural traditions, rituals and politics.
More Information About Smoking
We have updated the history of smoking. In future, we'll highlight more information about smoking. Remember, if possible, don't smoke. Smoke is proven to kills for thousands of years. To find out how you can quit smoking, try using electronic cigarette today.