Smoking is a practice in which a substance, most commonly tobacco, is burned and the smoke is tasted or inhaled. This is primarily practised as a route of administration for recreational drug use, as combustion releases the active substances in drugs such as nicotine and makes them available for absorption through the lungs. It can also be done as a part of rituals, to induce trances and spiritual enlightenment.

The most common method of smoking today is through cigarettes, primarily industrially manufactured but also hand-rolled from loose tobacco and rolling paper. Other smoking implements include pipes, cigars, bidis, hookahs, vaporizers, and bongs. It has been suggested that smoking-related disease kills one half of all long term smokers but these diseases may also be contracted by non-smokers. A 2007 report states that about 4.9 million people worldwide each year die as a result of smoking.

Smoking is one of the most common forms of recreational drug use. Tobacco smoking is today by far the most popular form of smoking and is practiced by over one billion people in the majority of all human societies. Less common drugs for smoking include cannabis and opium. Some of the substances are classified as hard narcotics, like heroin, but the use of these is very limited as they are often not commercially available.

The history of smoking can be dated to as early as 5000 BC, and has been recorded in many different cultures across the world. Early smoking evolved in association with religious ceremonies; as offerings to deities, in cleansing rituals or to allow shamans and priests to alter their minds for purposes of divination or spiritual enlightenment. After the European exploration and conquest of the Americans, the practice of smoking tobacco quickly spread to the rest of the world. In regions like India and Subsaharan Africa, it merged with existing practices of smoking (mostly of cannabis). In Europe, it introduced a new type of social activity and a form of drug intake which previously had been unknown.

Perception surrounding smoking has varied over time and from one place to another; holy and sinful, sophisticated and vulgar, a panacea and deadly health hazard. Only relatively recently, and primarily in industrialized Western countries, has smoking come to be viewed in a decidedly negative light. Today medical studies have proven that smoking tobacco is among the leading causes of many diseases such as lung cancer, heart attacks, COPD, erectile dysfunction and can also lead to birth defects. The inherent health hazards of smoking have caused many countries such as Singapore to institute high taxes on tobacco products and anti-smoking campaigns are launched every year in an attempt to curb tobacco smoking.

Read more about Smoking:  Substances and Equipment, Health Effects, Physiology, Psychology, Prevalence, Society and Culture, Cigarette Camps, See Also

Other articles related to "smoking":

List Of Smoking Bans In The United States - Smoking Laws of The United States By State - Kansas
... Statewide smoking ban On July 1, 2010, after being signed into law by Governor Mark Parkinson on March 12, 2010, an amendment to Kansas' 1987 statewide smoking ... club where persons under 18 are prohibited, (4) tobacconists, (5) designated hotel and motel smoking rooms, (6) designated smoking areas in nursing homes and healthcare facilities, (7) and all outdoor ... not change the original law's provision allowing local governments to regulate smoking more stringently than the state, which the Kansas Supreme Court reiterated in 2007 upon a ...
List Of Smoking Bans In The United States - Smoking Laws of The United States By State - Montana
... Statewide smoking ban On October 1, 2005, the Montana Clean Indoor Air Act (MCIAA) went into effect, banning smoking statewide in all enclosed workplaces in ... in schools, designated hotel/motel smoking rooms, and American Indian religious and cultural activities ... Local governments are preempted from regulating smoking more stringently than the Act ...
List Of Smoking Bans In The United States - Smoking Laws of The United States By State - Nevada
... Statewide smoking ban excluding bars, casinos, and designated restaurant smoking rooms On December 8, 2006, after passage by 54% of voters on November 7, 2006, the Nevada ... The Act permits smoking without limitation in areas within casinos where minors are already prohibited, stand-alone bars that do not serve food, strip clubs and brothels, retail ... Local governments may regulate smoking more stringently than the Act, though no city or county in Nevada has chosen to do so ...
Health In Cyprus - Smoking
... Smoking rates in Cyprus are considered high by international standards ... WHO Statistics from 1998 show that 38.5% of males were smokers ...
Smoked Fish - Smoking Process
... Rozum "The process of smoking fish occurs through the use of fire ... fish are salting (bath or injection of liquid brine or dry salt mixture), cold smoking, cooling, packaging (air/vacuum or modified), and storage ... Smoking, one of the oldest preservation methods, combines the effects of salting, drying, heating and smoking ...

Famous quotes containing the word smoking:

    Finishing schools in the fifties were a good place to store girls for a few years before marrying them off, a satisfactory rest stop between college weekends spent husband hunting. It was a haven for those of us adept at styling each other’s hair, playing canasta, and chain smoking Pall Mall extra-long cigarettes.
    Barbara Howar (b. 1934)

    As an example to others, and not that I care for moderation myself, it has always been my rule never to smoke when asleep, and never to refrain from smoking when awake.
    Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835–1910)

    The Reverend Samuel Peters ... exaggerated the Blue Laws, but they did include “Capital Lawes” providing a death penalty for any child over sixteen who was found guilty of cursing or striking his natural parents; a death penalty for an incorrigible son; a law forbidding smoking except in a room in a private house; another law declaring smoking illegal except on a journey five miles away from home,...
    —Administration for the State of Con, U.S. public relief program (1935-1943)