Smoking historical perspective

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Smoking Microchapters


Patient Information


Historical Perspective




Differentiating Smoking from other Diseases

Epidemiology and Demographics

Risk Factors


Natural History, Complications and Prognosis


History and Symptoms

Physical Examination

Laboratory Findings



CT Scan


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Medical Therapy


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Cost-Effectiveness of Therapy

Future or Investigational Therapies

Case Studies

Case #1

Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Seyedmahdi Pahlavani, M.D. [2]


History of smoking can be dated to as early as 5000 BC. Tobacco first cultivated in the America in 3000 BC. Next important phase in smoking history returns to world exploration by sailors.

Historical Perspective

  • The history of smoking can be dated to as early as 5000 BC, and has been recorded in many different cultures across the world.
  • Tobacco has been cultivated and smoked in the Americas for at least 5000 years, originating in the Peruvian and Ecuadorian Andes.
  • The smoking of cannabis in India has been practiced for over 4000 years.
  • The first report of a smoking Englishman is of a sailor in Bristol in 1556, seen "emitting smoke from his nostrils".
  • There is reference to tobacco in Persian poem dating from before 1536.
  • A Frenchman named Jean Nicot (from whose name the word nicotine is derived) introduced tobacco to France in 1560.
  • After the European exploration and subsequent colonization of the Americas in the 16th century, the smoking, cultivation and trading of tobacco quickly spread to all corners of the globe.
  • Sailors spread the tobacco during 16th century along the sea routes by their discoveries.
  • Soon after its introduction to the Old World, tobacco came under frequent criticism from state and religious leaders. Murad IV, sultan of the Ottoman Empire 1623-40 was among the first to attempt a smoking ban by claiming it was a threat to public moral and health.
  • In Europe, it introduced a new type of social activity and a form of drug intake which previously had been unknown.


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