Thursday, March 18, 2010

Tabbaaca

I have been smoking since i was 18. My brands have changed three times so far. I have quit a few times and always went back to smoking. The longest i have done without smoking is two to three months. I still smoke up to this day. A pack will last anywhere between two to four days.

It is purely my choice to smoke and always have been.

Non-smokers...die every day. Sleep tight! - Bill Hicks

The reason i am writing about smoking is because i have been reading a book on the history of tobacco and how it has been consumed and how much it has affected the world. It's a very interesting book called: "Tobacco, a cultural history of how an exotic plant seduced civilization." One of those books that just surprise you into how much its has had an effect on people and societies.

I'm not trying to encourage smoking at all. It is totally up to you with what you do to your lungs as i have decided what it might do to me. Smoking has been attached to very bad things and been attached to health care cost rising because of treating people who are suffering from respiratory problem or even cancer.

I am writing this because it has brought to me my own history of the weed. Apparently, the plant is a very nice plant before it is harvested. The plant is very versatile in terms of where you can plant it and how you consume it. People in the past have snuffed it - snorting it like cocaine, smoked it, chewed it, drank the tea, and even took it as a suppository. It is grown almost on every inch of proper soil. It was one of the first products that the world didn't need for human survival but have persisted in consuming it.

I'll tell you why I like the cigarette business. It cost a penny to make. Sell it for a dollar. It's addictive. And there's a fantastic brand loyalty. - Warren Buffet.

I'm not a historian and definitely not an expert on Inuit history and just from my thoughts i will try to understand more of tobacco and it's effect on Inuit in the past and now.

Tobacco probably came through the explorers that came to the Arctic but i don't think it made such an effect on Inuit at that time yet. The time tobacco really started to be involved with Inuit is probably the whalers and traders when it became more prevalent and was started to be traded with Inuit for furs and labour the Inuit did for both industries. Historically, not just to Inuit, smoking and tobacco affects every race on earth. There is no group of people on earth that have not been affected by smoking and it was one of the first products to be attached to a brand - the Orinoco brand that originally was bred in Virginia and made popular around the world.

I imagine the Inuit smoking tobacco much like all the people's of the world and much like the rest of the world, they attributed health benefits to the weed. The British smoked so much in the 1600's that in school - both the student (who were between the ages of 7 and 13) and the teachers used to take a break from class and everyone would light up a pipe. Both kings and slaves smoked the weed and crossed all races and classes. The french early on took the habit of snuffing and created elaborate social functions around the french nobility court, where one was assessed as to how they took their snuff and what package they used to store their tobacco in.

And as well, tobacco has medicinal value to it. It was thought to cure all sorts of disease and was recommended in many European countries when a plague was decimating their country (which was quite often) and people were told to smoke, which is why kids in Britain were smoking in school, to protect them from sickness.

Smoking was one of the first to be prohibited and in some places a death penalty was carried for smoking in public, like in Prussia where smoking was illegal and the Prussian population took up to snuffing, much like snorting cocaine. As well, early on, the Spanish saw smoking as part of devil worship because the Indians in America looked like they were devil worshippers and was deemed sinful to smoke.

I believe that pipe smoking contributes to a somewhat calm and objective judgment in all human affairs. - Albert Einstein.

As to what Einstein said about smoking, it was regarded as a gift for many people and the American George Washington said this: If you can't send money, send tobacco. It is even estimated that Napoleon Bonaparte used so much snuff that it is estimated he would be smoking hundred sticks of cigarette a day today. That is a lot, which is like five packs a day and he had a collection of many elaborate snuff boxes that he collected.

When I started smoking, my parents bought me cigarettes. I became a smoker as my brothers are and we smoked together. It was one thing that i had in common with the older citizens of Pang. People told us it was bad and we shouldn't smoke it, so it was also the first defiance of society that i did. I have been told that it cures ear aches by smoking into the infected ear and will make it feel better. I don't know if that is true but sounds a lot like the British in the 1600's.

Smoking is a major health issue nowadays as "Seventy percent of Inuit in the north between the ages of 18 and 45 currently smoke" which is cited in the Health Canada website and "Almost half of Inuit (46%) who smoke started smoking at age 14 or younger."

I am just a smoker as many people have been smokers and i am in no way trying to encourage smoking at all.

I drink a great deal. I sleep a little, and I smoke cigar after cigar. That is why I am in two-hundred-percent form. - Winston Churchill.

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