The rise of the smoking culture
When you think about it, apart from humans, no other species on this planet enjoys smoking or takes part in smoking. Why? Perhaps because it is something that other species consider unnatural or simply repelling. Humans have engaged in smoking for thousands of years and the habit does not seem to be going anywhere any time soon. In fact, there are many brands of cigarettes and cigars that are considered more luxurious than others. They also come in a variety of flavors that smokers can choose from.
Where and how smoking began
Smoking began as early as 5000 BC and was initially used as part of rituals observed by various civilizations such as the Chinese and Indians. Babylonians and Israelites also incorporated smoking in their rituals, as did Orthodox Christian churches and Catholics.
Smoking was soon perceived as a social tool and a variety of hallucinogenic substances were popularly smoked. Cannabis was amongst the first drugs to be smoked and was very popular in the Middle East as early as 2000BC.
Tobacco was introduced later on and was smoked at social events such as funerals and weddings.
A brief look at the history of tobacco shows that humans were first exposed to it about 18, 000 years ago. The plant’s cultivation and practice of smoking it provided a kind of physiological stimulation that was long sought after. Apart from the social aspect of smoking it, tobacco has been widely celebrated for its medicinal uses. In the early days, it was powdered for inhalation, toasted, dried or chewed. Somewhere along the way, indigenous people learned how to smoke it.
Tobacco has become so popular that throughout the years, it has become a great source of income for some countries. Virginia is an example of a region that relied on export of tobacco rather than gold mining. Once smoking of tobacco was introduced in Europe in the 1500s, it became so widely used that it became associated with other products such as alcohol.
It wasn’t long before people discovered that smoking was a significant source of making money and a machine that was to be used for mass production was invented in the 1800s. The machine was used to speed up the process of making the cigarettes. From this, the number of people who smoked in the UK increased significantly in the early 1900s.
Soon after its increased popularity, people began to realize that the number of people being diagnosed with lung cancer also increased. It is at this time that people associated lung cancer with smoking. In fact, some physicians in 1798 claimed that the use of tobacco was dangerous to our health but it wasn’t until the early 20th century that researchers began to conduct more serious medical studies.
Why is smoking still popular anyway?
Up to the early 2000s, more and more people became aware of the significant risks associated with tobacco smoking. As a result, the number of people who smoked began to decline. From 1960 to early 2000s, the number of people who smoked reduced to 20% from 40%. Unfortunately, the number has slowly begun to increase.
Fast track to 2012 and smoking has taken on an entirely different form. One alternative that seems to stand out is the electronic cigarette. This cigarette was specifically made for the population that was health conscious. Manufacturers of these devices manufactured the electronic cigarette with the sole purpose of providing users a way of smoking without worrying about their health.
It comes as no surprise that the e-cigarette has become very popular. Users can still enjoy the benefits of smoking without the fear of cancerous toxins polluting their lungs. Unlike traditional cigarettes, smokers inhale vapor rather than smoke.
In short, people smoke today because it appears to be a natural act instead of a bad habit. Now that the electronic cigarette has been introduced, some of the health issues associated with tobacco smoking have been removed. Smoking is evolving and with time, a newer and better device than the e-cigarette may just be invented. If the e-cigarette gets approved by the MHRA, then you can be assured that this will have a big impact on the population that smokes tobacco. This is because they can still get the simulation of smoking with fewer health issues.