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Smoking is depicted in engravings and on various types of pottery as early as the 9th century, but it is not known whether it was limited to just the upper class and priests.After Europeans arrived in the Americas in the late 15th century tobacco smoking as a recreational activity became widespread.While Opium dens continued to exist throughout the world, the trend among the Europeans abated during the First World War, and among the Chinese during the cultural revolution.More widespread cigarette usage as well as increased life expectancy during the 1920s made adverse health effects more noticeable.Even today certain Tzeltal Maya sacrifice 13 calabashes of tobacco at New Year.The smoking of tobacco and various other hallucinogenic drugs was used to achieve trances and to come into contact with the spirit world.
At the end of the feast, which would last all night, the remaining flowers, smoking tubes and food would be given as a kind of alms to old and poor people who had been invited to witness the social occasion, or it would be rewarded to the servants.
A Frenchman named Jean Nicot (from whose name the word nicotine derives) introduced tobacco to France in 1560 from Spain. The first report of a smoking Englishman is of a sailor in Bristol in 1556, seen "emitting smoke from his nostrils." Early modern European medical science was still to a great extent based on humorism, the idea that everything had a specific humoral nature that varied between hot and cold, dry and moist.
Tobacco was often seen as something that was beneficial in its heating and drying properties and was assigned an endless list of beneficial properties.
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