Smoking - the type of household drug addiction based on inhalation of a smoke of burning-down plants, for the purpose of organism saturation by active agents containing in them by their sublimation and the subsequent absorption in lungs and airways. As a rule, it is applied to the use of the smoking mixes possessing narcotic properties. In this article we will speak about tobacco smoking (a sort of perennial and annual plants of family of Solanaceae). The sort Tobacco includes 75 types which are distributed in 13 sections.

Smoking as it is, was known long time ago. On frescos in the Indian temples the Saint devotees inhaling a smoke of aromatic huts were represented. Pipes were found at excavation of burials of the nobility in Egypt. Scythians were accustomed to inhale a smoke of burned plants. Smoking by means of tubes was known to ancient Germans and Gauls in the I century BC. In Ancient Chinese literature it is spoken about smoking. Smoking was popular in the Old World long time before Columbus discovered America. But as a stuffing, tobacco and other plants were not used.

Till the XVI century tobacco grew only in North and South America. The American Indians were familiar with tobacco for a long time – it is considered that indigenous Americans were engaged in its cultivation for six thousand years B.C., and by the beginning of our era this plant was widely adopted on all American continent. But, unlike today's smokers, for Indians tobacco was an important mean of carrying out religious, diplomatic (all of us know about "pipe of peace") and even medical actions (Indians chewed tobacco leaves at a toothache).

Having got to America in 1492, Christopher Columbus and his companions became the first smokers of tobacco from Europeans. After Columbus brought tobacco to the Old World, not at once, but the product new to Europe began to win new admirers. Tobacco's ability to cause accustoming and a widespread rumor that tobacco possesses a lot of useful and even medical properties promoted to its fast distribution across Europe . In the 16th century tobacco gained distribution in France after it was presented to the queen as a remedy by the ambassador in Portugal Z. Nicko (from here "nicotine").

Unlimited consumption of tobacco caused poisoning cases that induced the authorities to pursue smokers. The governments of the different countries tried to struggle with tobacco smoking. In Great Britain and the Ottoman Empire at the end of the XVI century smokers were equated to sorcerers and were punished with "decapitation". In Italy the father Urban VII separated from church those who were smoking and smelling tobacco. In Russia in the XVII century at the tsar Mikhail Fyodorovich smokers were beaten with sticks, and after the Moscow fire of 1634 began to apply the death penalty. Tobacco, on demotic Russian beliefs — a dirty, devil plant which grew from rotten dust of the devil who was dumped from the sky on an oak top where decayed. Peter I in 1697 lifted a ban on smoking after homecoming from Europe. He became a heavy smoker there.

For a long time the most popular way of using tobacco among colonists was its smoking in tubes; also the habit to smell and chew tobacco was widespread. Cigars started gaining the popularity approximately at the beginning of the nineteenth century, and the turn of cigarettes came a bit later. The idea to produce cigarettes belongs to the London cigars dealer and Philipp Morris's tobacco in the early fifties of the IX century when he saw the officer, the participant of the Crimean war twisting "tsigarka". But at first cigarettes of manual assembly were made at his factory. And  the cigarette machine invented by James Bonsek in 1881, that was capable to make to hundred twenty thousand cigarettes a day promoted the lightning growth of the tobacco industry.

At the beginning of the XX century the tobacco product called "the American mix" — a combination of tobacco "Burley", "Bright" and "Turkish" was created. On its basis in 1924 new ladies' cigarettes of Marlboro were created. This famous brand was created originally for women and only in the 50th was reoriented to men. Then a new one (now traditional) one-time packing in a firm pack was made. Cigarettes "Camel" of the R. J. Reynolds’ company appeared in 1913. In 1939 an American Tobacco Company lets out the new brand Pall Mall and Reynolds creates brand of cigarettes with the filter Winston.

The Golden Age of the tobacco industry is considered to be the end of the 1940th — the beginning of the 1950th years when the well-known actors of cinema were smoking cigarettes and cigars as an integral part of the magnificent and mysterious image.

In spite of the fact that various materials about an adverse effect of smoking on health of a human appeared for many decades (in 1855 the New York antismoking society (New York Anti-Tobacco Society) publishes data that smoking is a cause of death in half of deaths for men of 35-50 years), antismoking activity reached some serious progress only in the second half of the twentieth century. After a number of the materials, urged to draw public attention to danger of smoking, since 1965 there were the inscriptions on cigarettes warning about harm of smoking, and in 1971 the law forbidding advertising of cigarettes on television and radio was adopted. Constantly requirements to places where it is possible to smoke become tougher, growing taxes on tobacco production are also urged to promote refusal of an addiction.

Passing directly to an essence of a problem it is necessary to tell after all about the harm because of which, as a matter of fact, the designated problem takes place. Smoking of tobacco wins first place in the world among the preventable reasons of mortality, however the World Health Organization considers that tobacco became a cause of death of 100 000 000 death within the 20th century. In the world on the average each six seconds one person dies of the diseases connected with smoking of tobacco, and annually for this reason five million people die. If tendencies of increase of prevalence of smoking don't decrease, than, according to forecasts, by 2020 10 million people annually will prematurely die, and by 2030 smoking of tobacco will become one of the strongest factors leading to premature death. Besides, in the United States the Center for control and prevention of diseases describes the tobacco use as the most important risk factor for health of the person in the developed countries and the main reason for premature death around the world.

You can read about consequences of smoking and impact on an organism on pages of our site.

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