Did you know that tobacco was the first successful commercial product of the settlers in the new world? It was the Plymouth Company of England that financed ships that populated the new world, and they expected a saleable product to export in return. Turns out that they were all failures until the Indians taught them how to grow tobacco.
We've come a long way since then. I'm old enough to remember smoking ads on the radio, then later on TV. I remember the weekly "Lucky Strike Hit Parade", a top radio show that performed the top ten selling recordings for the week. They featured great singers to perform the most popular songs in the nation. This was sponsored by a tobacco company who manufactured "Lucky Strike" cigarettes. I remember how every movie that employed the most popular movie stars featured them as heavy smokers. In fact the drama of lighting up and taking a long drag formed important scenes in almost every one of them.
Then came the report of the Surgeon General of the United States that declared the link between smoking and lung cancer. An elder in our church quit his habit about that time, and when I asked him, he said he did not quit because of the report of the Surgeon General. He said that he discovered that tobacco had a grip on him. He said that it was controlling him, instead of the other way around. His conscience bothered him about being a slave to anything other than the Lord Jesus Christ.
But the climate began to change at that time. That was long ago, but I am old enough to remember all this. Peer pressure usually got teen started because they wanted to be cool. Our club was called the "Meridians" and we thought we were extra cool because instead of smoking cigarettes we each had a pipe. I also remember the night I tried a hunk of chaw (chewing tobacco). It filled my mouth with a sweet juice that seemed to draw an extra flow of saliva, and before I could get outside to spit I had swallowed a lump. I was so sick my face must have been green. That was the last time I ever put tobacco in my mouth. Well there was one other time. I smuggled a cigarette from my mom's purse so Barbara could see what she was missing. She hacked and gagged (as I knew she would), and her curiosity was more than satisfied.
Now I hear that the legislature of California is considering banning smoking from any public place--indoors or out. It is now cool NOT to smoke. Yes sir, we have come a long way.
I actually heard my Urologist say that I had a beautiful bladder. He explained that smoking actually scars the lining of one's bladder, and I do not smoke. So when he inserted a catheter camera into me, he felt compelled to remark about my "beautiful" bladder. You may think this is weird. But my doctor is a bit weird.