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A brief history of tobacco: from pipe to electronic cigarette


Tobacco has entered the human society for only 600 years, but it has deeply influenced the historical development. Nowadays, tobacco, as an economic crop, affects almost all people 's lives, including non-smokers (passive smokers and some practitioners). Until now, how to ban smoking is still an important social problem.

Today we will talk about how tobacco has gradually developed into the present form.

Pipe: a tool for discovering tobacco

Traditional American pipe

The first people in the world to use a pipe were Native Americans. Archaeological remains of Aztec and Maya show that American residents believe that smoke from burning leaves can communicate with gods. Therefore, the pipe was invented as a kind of ritual instrument and held by the priest, and smoking the smoke produced by combustion was a part of the ritual.

In the process of selecting leaves of various plants, they found that inhalation of smoke produced by burning tobacco can make people enter a slowly unconscious state of anesthesia until they lose consciousness (i.e. nicotine poisoning). However, this state was regarded as "communicating with God". Soon, with the function of "communicating with God" and strong addiction, the behavior of smoking tobacco with pipe spread to all regions of the American continent, and gradually evolved from the function of sacrifice to the common life culture.

This section of history spans from 3000 B.C. to 1400 A.D. During this period, the development of smoking is very slow, only a part of the cultural life of the local indigenous people. However, in the next six hundred years, this kind of plant has brought enormous economic benefits and numerous social problems to human beings all over the world, and the turning point of all this is the 15th century.

The local people smoking in Maya murals

With the prosperity of the European Renaissance and the vigorous growth of capitalism, capitalists, in order to open up overseas markets, have organized long-distance fleets to look for the Oriental world described by Marco Polo as "gold everywhere, fragrance everywhere".

Among many explorers, Columbus believed that he could reach the east by sailing westward, but he came to America by mistake. Obviously, there was no gold he expected, but when he landed, he was shocked by the sight of Indians' puffing. One of his sailors, Jerez, was driven by curiosity and made a bold attempt to become the first smoker in Europe. When he left here disappointed, he could not imagine that the tobacco seeds given to him by the Indians would indeed bring the golden leaf to his country in the future. The moment he returned to Spain, tobacco officially entered the civilized world.

At first, Jerez's new habit also caused a panic. Religious people believed that the stench after smoking was the devil's breath. Before long, he was jailed for practicing witchcraft. But even so, the habit of smoking spread like a plague, and Spain became the first country in Europe to grow tobacco. Soon, the capitalists and the royal family noticed that tobacco would bring them huge profits. Thus, tobacco spread to various colonies with the "invincible fleet". Among them, tobacco spread to Luzon officially entered the Ming Dynasty in 1575.

A man who smoked in the countryside in the 18th century

A man who smoked in the countryside in the 18th century

While the tobacco industry is growing savagely, the contradiction between capital and religion is getting deeper and deeper. The church can not tolerate the use of "devil's breath" to pollute the sacred dome when the smokers worship in the church, even many clergy have become smokers. In 1590, Pope Urban VII decided to declare war on the devil. For the first time in history, he said he would expel all smokers from the church. Unfortunately, he died of malaria after only 13 days of control. This anti smoking movement also "thunders big, raindrops small" finally ended.

Since then, although there have been several anti smoking campaigns, they have achieved little. The tobacco industry is still booming, and the pipe as a smoking tool has flourished together, and the manufacturing materials and processes are progressing.

In Europe, the British pipe manufacturing industry is the most powerful, so Holmes also became a cultural symbol because of the pipe. So far, dunhill, a British luxury brand, is still making pipe. However, due to the lack of communication with the outside world, China has gone out of its own unique development direction, and finally formed the familiar copper smoke pot.

Until the 19th century, the world tobacco market was dominated by pipes, followed by cigars, snuff, chewing tobacco and hookah. Pipe is the most traditional way of smoking. The cigar originated from the "Spanish cigarette" which was rolled up by the Spanish. Later, the French named it "cigar". Snuff, chewing tobacco and hookah are all the results of collision with local cultural environment in the process of colonization. This kind of market pattern was not broken until the invention of cigarettes, and people realized the serious harm of smoking to health.

Pipe is the most elegant way to smoke

Until the 19th century, the pipe was the most elegant way to smoke

Cigarette: the number one killer of the present age


The emergence of cigarette has changed the development history of tobacco

Among the traditional tobacco products, there is a small way of smoking. There is the cigarette invented by the Turks inspired by cigarettes. Unlike cigars, cigarettes are the reuse of tobacco waste. It is about to cut small tobacco leaves that can't be made into cigars or poor tobacco leaves that can't be made into tobacco shreds and then roll them up with newspapers for smoking. Because of its poor quality, even though the French government began to put cigarettes into production in 1843, it still failed to catch on.

But after the Crimean War of 1853, one of its characteristics made it popular quickly -- convenience. Traditional pipe and cigar need to spend a lot of time to focus on smoking, which is an extravagant hope for soldiers on the battlefield. And cigarettes are taken and smoked at any time, and only a few minutes of cigarettes are the perfect solution to the soldiers' desire for nicotine, so they spread in the army. At the end of the war, the soldiers returned to all kinds of motherland with the habits developed in this battlefield, which made cigarettes have a certain market base in various places.

In addition to the low price and the convenience of smoking, there are also more important factors that make cigarettes spread among the people. Most of the traditional tobacco products are fermented directly from the sun dried tobacco leaves. In order to improve the quality of inferior tobacco, cigarettes are mixed with a large number of additives (flavors, combustion aids, etc.) after roasting. This makes the smoke concentration of cigarettes far less than that of traditional tobacco products, but it does not reduce the harm.

Cigarettes and cigars

Cigarettes and cigars all kinds of snuff have made pipe become the main force of tobacco consumption

In fact, due to the high concentration of traditional tobacco products, when they reach the throat, they will choke, let alone inhale into the lungs. This discourages many people who want to try smoking. For example, Napoleon once wrote in his diary that he gave up smoking because of choking his throat. The smoke concentration of cigarette is reduced, the threshold of smoking is greatly reduced, and the smoking rate is greatly increased. In addition, cloves added to cigarettes will cause a small amount of paralysis in the mouth and lungs of smokers, so as to try to feel happy. This makes "over the lung" which is supposed to be the wrong way of smoking gradually become the consensus of current smokers, making a large number of harmful substances can enter the human body environment, and its harm is more than the traditional way of smoking.

But sometimes in history, it's just a coincidence that cigarettes became more and more popular as munitions in the two world wars. Even in 1927, Tilden, a British doctor, suggested that smoking can cause cancer. But compared with the probability of death on the battlefield, this argument is ignored. On the contrary, German scientists are leading the world in the study of tobacco damage. They have found direct evidence of smoking carcinogenesis, proving the toxicity of substances such as nicotine.

Because Hitler was also disgusted with tobacco, the Nazis became the initiator of the first mass anti smoking movement in modern history, and its severity was also unique. But the Nazis still bound up propaganda against smoking and racism. After its demise, people's antipathy to the Nazis also led to the great retrogression of the anti smoking movement. Up to the end of the 20th century, there was no smoking ban during the Nazi period.

The outbreak of World War

The outbreak of the world war has further improved the popularity of cigarettes

On the other hand, people are finally beginning to pay attention to the rising rate of cancer. In recent decades, the current anti smoking movement has been developed steadily. With the gradual development of the movement, the relationship between smokers, tobacco merchants and non-smokers has become increasingly tense.

In the late 20th century, tobacco merchants launched a hypocritical "good intentions reminder" campaign "under pressure". On the surface, it seems that the efforts of the anti-smoking people have been effective, but in fact, due to the easing of contradictions, the tug of war between various forces has been prolonged again. Until recently, there was a new troublemaker, electronic cigarette.

E-cigarettes: angels or demons?

The emergence of electronic smoke

The emergence of electronic cigarette disrupts the original tobacco market

In 2000, Han Li, a Chinese smoker, began to look for substitutes for quitting smoking. As a traditional Chinese medicine doctor, he proposed the concept of diluting nicotine with propylene glycol and atomizing it with ultrasonic device. In 2004, he obtained the invention patent of electronic cigarette, and launched the sales in the next year. With the movement of banning smoking, electronic cigarettes have become popular in overseas markets.

Soon, the major tobacco companies foresee that this new thing will bring a huge impact on the market, and have followed up the research. At present, there is no clear conclusion about the harm of electronic cigarette to health. However, it is worth noting that nicotine is still contained in e-cigarettes, although its purpose is to serve as a substitute for cigarettes.

Electronic cigarette breaks tobacco

Electronic cigarette breaks the old concept of tobacco = cigarette

At the same time, the threshold of e-cigarettes is greatly reduced compared with cigarettes. In history, the popularity of cigarettes, as well as the subsequent emergence of thin cigarettes, peppermint cigarettes and other "light" cigarettes, are further expanding the smoking population. Every time the threshold of smoking is lowered, people's smoking rate is bound to increase.

Therefore, we have to be alert to electronic cigarettes. It can even be said that it has the potential to destroy the achievements of smoking ban in recent decades. Coupled with the lack of industry regulation in the past few years, e-cigarettes and in the mainland have a savage growth trend.

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