In the early days, smoking was a habit that only men partook of. From Native Indian men, to sailors and then soldiers, smoking became a habit that men frequently engaged in. Advertisements that were created by tobacco and cigarette companies, at first targeted the men directly with their products. In addition, it was taboo for women to smoke in the early days of the tobacco industry. Also, the health concerns placed on pregnant women prevented or stopped them from smoking altogether.
The Trail of Smoke
Native Indian men, especially the Aztecs and Mayas, frequently gathered to smoke as part of social and religious ceremonies. Tobacco was later introduced to the sailors who visited these tribes. In 1564, an Englishman named Sir John Hawkins and his crew brought tobacco back to England. However, Spanish and Portuguese sailors were responsible for spreading the practice worldwide through their land conquests.
During World War II, cigarettes were rationed to soldiers for free by the tobacco companies, along with food and other basic necessities. Soldiers smoked cigarettes and became quickly addicted to them because they aided them in dealing with the stresses of war and being away from their loved ones. The tobacco and cigarette industries wanted to induce men to either start smoking or to consistently smoke. Hence, the early forms of cigarette advertising campaigns focused solely on men. The ads expressed how men who smoked were more masculine and were adored by throngs of women. Also, the liberating idea of smoking a cigarette was introduced by Marlboro through its famous lone cowboy riding on a horse ad.
Smoking was deemed to be a man’s activity and it was considered to be not very lady like for a woman to smoke, in the early part of the nineteenth century; if women smoked, it was behind closed doors. Thus, it was a big moment when Eleanor Roosevelt smoked in public in 1934. Furthermore, women who were pregnant had to stop smoking because smoking could result in fetal abnormalities, and a tier of other health issues found at birthing.
Respiratory diseases and various types of cancer affect both men and women who smoke. Smoking greatly increases the chance of a person contracting these diseases and significantly reduces their longevity. Thousands of people die from smoking related illnesses each year, and the health costs associated with the treatment of these ailments tallies well into the billions.
How To Quit Smoking
To ensure that you have the best quality of life possible, you should stop smoking right now. Many people are now using prescribed medications such as Zyban to beat the urge to smoke and to break the habit for good. Consult your doctor about Zyban if you are considering quitting smoking.