Tobacco is a natural plant for the New World, and so is the custom of smoking plant materials to achieve the narcotic effects of them. Smoking may have been known in the Old World during the Neolithic period. Here the opinions of scientists are divided. However, there is no evidence that tobacco smoking was a practice known to any of the historical civilizations of the Old World before Columbus brought it after its second trip to both Americas. After less than a hundred years, packs of tobacco were left lying on the graves of shamans in Lapland! This gives some insight into how quickly tobacco could spread like a smoke, even in a society that was not at all familiar with it before. By the beginning of the XIX century, tobacco consumption in Europe was considered the prerogative of men. The prosperity of men was judged by the quantity and quality of cigars they smoked.Tobacco was ranked among the long list of male privileges of the style of dominion, which included almost all types of alcohol (ladies brandy, please), financial control, access to prostitutes and control of political power (remember the very “smoke-filled rooms”).
Even in the current atmosphere, a clear idea of drugs does not see any contradiction between the passionate calls for the prohibition of drug use by professional athletes and the figure of the chewing tobacco of the main attacking team, stepping towards the emblem of the power, whose eyes are frozen in narcotic tension. Would exclusion of drugs from sports mean the disappearance of this ridiculous figure of a blunt stuffed animal with a good feeding paw? I’m somehow not sure about this.
While tobacco was making its way to the present heights, opium was also popular, albeit insignificant in comparison with tobacco. Ladanum – opium tincture in alcohol – was used as a remedy for colic in children, as a “female tonic”, as a remedy for dysentery and, most significant, as a causative agent of creative imagination among writers, travelers and other bohemians. Morphine, which is to be administered by injection, was the first synthesized alkaloid. This event, which occurred in 1805, cast a shadow on the quiet little world of incense enthusiasts – for however much creative inspiration Coleridge and De Quincy received from their supposed “opiomania” slavery, their dependence on opium, although serious, could be compared with cocaine addiction and new synthetic heroin analogues,then it seems just insignificant.