ENG 105: 14
May 2, 2012
Why Do People Smoke?
Smoking is one of the most popular habits among people today. All around the world we see people smoking. Even in Bangladesh the number of smokers is quite high. Especially around the university campus young adults are seen smoking frequently. It can be said that among every friend circle in universities we will find one or two smokers. My circle is no different also. Not only in universities, even around schools and colleges teenagers can be seen smoking. Offices and restaurants have their own smoking zone so that people can smoke without any kind of problems. Given this huge popularity of smoking one can only wonder the main reasons behind it? Smoking cigarettes has become a very common trend among people today. Although there are various bad effects of smoking cigarettes people find it very hard to quit smoking once they start. Now-a-days we see even very young boys and girls smoking cigarettes. The bad effects of smoking are known to almost everybody in the world today. There has been strong promotion against this deadly habit. In school students are constantly reminded of its bad consequences. But still we see people smoking. This is a habit that has been going on for many decades now. Several reasons drive a man towards smoking. Every person tends to think that they have different reason for smoking. But if we look closely we may see a general pattern among smokers. The main reason of smoking is psychological.
History of Smoking First of all we will briefly look at the origin of smoking. Cigarettes have a long history. Tobacco, the main ingredient of cigarettes, first started growing in about 6,000 B.C. In 1 B.C. American Indians started using tobacco. At first they were mainly used because of religious reasons. It was also believed then that tobacco had healing powers and was used as a pain killer. Tobacco was brought to Europe by sailors. Randall (1999) reported that on 1492 Christopher Columbus was gifted with dried tobacco by the American Indians. Even in Europe the major reason for tobacco use was medical. It was believed that tobacco could heal almost everything, starting from bad breath to cancer. In 1571 a Spanish doctor called Nicolas Monardes even wrote a book describing its healing factors. In that he said tobacco could heal 36 health problems. In the 1600’s tobacco became very popular. It was even used as money in some parts of the world. But this was also the time when people started noticing the dangers of smoking. In 1610 Sir Francis Bacon reported that quitting smoking is difficult. In 1776, during the American Revolutionary War, tobacco helped finance the revolution. It was used as collateral for loans the Americans borrowed from France. Over the years scientists began to understand the main chemicals in tobacco. In 1826, nicotine was discovered. It was then completely realized that smoking is a deadly habit. Around 1849 cigarettes became popular. Soldiers brought it to England from Russian and Turkish soldiers. During this time cigarettes were made from the scrap of other tobacco product. Chewing tobacco was one of them as it was quite popular among the Americans. In 1900’s cigarettes became a major tobacco product. During the two World Wars the use of cigarettes became very high. During these times women were targeted by the cigarette companies. In the Second World War (1939-1945) cigarettes were included in the soldiers’ C-Rations. Tobacco companies sent millions of cigarettes free of cost to the soldiers. And when the war broke they had a huge number of loyal customers. In the following years the real dangers of smoking started to come to being. Scientists...