What Makes Smoking That Popular? – Tobacco Popularity
Smoking is getting popular day by day. Despite its harmful effects on health such as cancer and heart-related problems; tobacco addiction is increasing rapidly. Before investigating the reasons behind Tobacco Popularity; we should know its brief history since a historical background lies behind its popularity. This historical background involves actions, events, characters involved that triggered it.
Brief History of Tobacco and Smoking
Researchers along with historians traced back the initial growth of tobacco around 6000 BC in Central America. After around 5000 years later we can see signs of Tobacco in Mayan civilization around 1000 BC. As Mayans dispersed in different areas they took tobacco leaves with them like in the areas of North and South America. At first, European explorers discovered tobacco and introduced it to the new world.
Cultivation at Commercial Level:
Europeans then started cultivating it on the commercial basis. In the year 1530, they cultivated it in the colonized areas and exported it back to Europe. In that time smoking also got its popularity in the court of Queen Elizabeth I. Pipe became popular in that time when a large number of European colonists returned to their homeland from Virginia and introduced smoking of clay pipes in the English society as a fashion, which seduced many families to travel in Virginia and make money out of it. At the same time, other European countries like France and Spain also adopted the fashion of Pipes.
On the rise of 17th Century, the Tobacco selling started on a commercial basis. About 25,000 pounds of tobacco was being imported from Europe. However, in very next century this amount increased to about 38 million pounds.
Cigarette Making Machines:
In 1800, the World witnessed the invention of cigarette-making machines. These machines had the capacity to produce 200 cigarettes in a minute. This lead to the growth of the tobacco industry. This mass production of cigarettes was readily available at an affordable price to ordinary people with the rise of tobacco consumers.
During first and second world war soldiers were given the packets of cigarettes to keep their moral high. During both world wars, cigarettes became more popular among the soldiers and on their return back to their homes they introduced it to their relatives and friends which accelerated the trend.
In the year 1950, first medical research highlighted the health concerns related to tobacco consumption. The study uncovered the link between smoking and lung cancer. However, the multi-million pound of the cigarette industry was not ready to accept this negative goodwill. US surgeon reported the link between lung cancer and smoking in 1964 while in 1998 another US Surgeon General revealed the results of his research that nicotine is an addictive substance. Following these researchers, US government banned tobacco advertisements on TV and Radio while made it mandatory for companies to print health-warning signs on packets of cigarettes.
Today governments around the globe are taking all necessary measures to decrease the use of tobacco including restrictions imposed on smoking in all indoor places.
Why is Smoking getting Popular?
Everyone from teen to old age smokers knows that smoking is dangerous for their health and it can cause cancer. Despite the concerns regarding cancer, smoking is increasing day by day. There are many reasons why people prefer smoking and destroying their health and life. Researchers have long been studying the reasons behind the urge of smoking for many years and came up with many conclusions. Below, we have listed some of the reasons behind smoking habits and popularity of tobacco.
The primary substance contained in cigarettes and other forms of tobacco is nicotine. Nicotine is an addictive substance. Nicotine affects many parts of the body, especially the brain. When you smoke nicotine reaches your brain within 10 seconds, and the brain releases adrenaline. It creates the feeling of buzz which lets you feel energetic, and after some time when that buzz effect fades, you need another shot of tobacco. The body gets habitual to nicotine, and you need a cigarette to keep your brain in relaxing mode. However, this process takes place again and again; it leads to addiction and smoking becomes part of your life.
It’s been learned through society, advertisements, and friends that smoking gives you relief from stress. People consider that cigarettes will cope with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PSTD), feeling of nostalgia, mood swings and in moments of emotional disorders.
To look Cool
Most children start smoking to reveal a particular image with effect from their peer pressure. Under the influence of their friends, they start imagining that cigarettes make them look cool. They are also influenced by movies, TV shows, and advertisements.
Smoking as Sign of Masculinity:
Smoking is also associated with masculinity and power. People sometimes unconsciously smoke to present the appearance of more masculine. However, this trend is more widespread in Asian countries. The women who also smoke somehow intend to show themselves as more independent and less weak or less sensitive.
Peer pressure is most common among high school students. They get influenced more quickly and copy others’ habits in the pursuit of style, fashion, looking cool, or attracting opposite gender.
There are many other reasons behind the smoking as well, like investing highly in advertisement campaigns, socio-economical problems, infrastructural mismanagement, norms and styles of particular elite societies.