Smoking has a long tradition and history in all major countries. It is not just a personal habit. It is a part of our culture. No matter what laws are made and how many campaigns launched against it, smoking tobacco is today a very essential ingredient in the lives of many.
As a cultural trait, smoking is very well known in literature, movies, and music. The smoke-filled cafes and public houses are the first impressions noted down by travelers and writers in countries where smoking is popular. The movies too have added their touch of glamour and romance to this habit, whether it is the scenario as described above, or the gentleman smoker with his girlfriend and a cigar in one hand.
There are countries where the younger generation has taken heavily to smoking tobacco. It fills their life with some meaning, provides relaxation in difficult times, and brings two people together when they may have stayed away.
How and when smoking tobacco began is not the subject matter here, but the natural product seems to have been long known to native users. As its use spread to other countries, new ways of processing and preparing the product were invented, culminating in the modern, sleek version – the cigarette. At once handy and easily procurable from small kiosks the world over, it stands as a symbol of the modern man and for the modern world.
The ill effects of smoking or chewing tobacco are well known. These are the rallying points of the laws and the campaigns that back them up. It is indeed our responsibility to take care of our health and to know the adverse effects. The very young too need to be kept away from easy enticements. The final decision is ultimately in our hands. If life is to be lived with full meaning, than this decision must be left to the individual users – how they wish to live.
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