There is some disagreement on whether Sir Walter Raleigh, the 16th century adventurer and explorer, introduced tobacco into Europe, or only popularised the habit of smoking. Either way, he was not aware of the harm he was doing to future generations.
Smoking, of course, was not always as popular as it is today. It was mostly men who smoked, and it was considered a slightly dirty and unpleasant habit. After dinner, the men would ‘go’ to the ‘smoking room’ in their ‘smoking jackets’ before lighting their cigars and pipes. Cigarettes are relatively recent and they have become more available (as with so many other things) by the arrival of mass production.
By the First World War, smoking had left the ‘smoking room’ and had joined the people. This popularity of the cigarette continued in the inter-war years. By that time, the relaxing qualities of cigarettes had been known and to this Hollywood added another attraction. With a cigarette dangling from your lips, you too could be like Humphrey Bogart, or James Cagney, or Betty Grable – or – whoever your idea of the attractive film star was. It is funny that the act of smoking dried leaves could be considered to make you look better but so it was.
The young people in the 1930’s and 1940’s first took up smoking as a mass habit. This was the period when the pressures of living first began to be so great that people needed the relaxing qualities of nicotine. It was not until much more recently, however, – within the last ten or twenty years – that we have realised what has happened to us.
We no longer smoke for the purpose of relaxation, or after-dinner social enjoyment; today’s smoker lights a cigarette over his breakfast coffee, continues throughout the day, and puts out his last cigarette just before he turns off the light at night. He smokes as if his life depends on it but he knows that his life may depend on his not smoking. The connections between lung cancer, rapidly becoming one of the largest killers in modern society, and smoking have been demonstrated, but we still cannot give up.
PEOPLE WILL NOT SMOKE
Governments are beginning to take action against smoking – but without too much interest, for tobacco is one of the most profitable sources of tax. The British Government took*the enormous step of ordering the cigarette manufacturers to print a warning that “Smoking Can Damage Your Health” on the side of all cigarette packets. The only effect of this is that smokers need a few extra cigarettes to further relax their terrified nerves.
Do you smoke? Can you run for the bus without being short of breath? Can you smell the flowers in spring? Is your house full of finished and half-finished cigarettes? Do you spend the first ten minutes of every morning coughing? Look, I’ve got an idea. Let’s give up smoking. Well, anyway… let’s give it up tomorrow. Oh, Walter Raleigh! What have you done to us? No smoke !
Mark the best choice.
1. In the past .
a) smoking was less popular because of Raleigh
b) smoking was more popular than it is now
c) not many women smoked
d) only dirty men smoked
2. Cigarettes gained popularity because of .
a) mass production
b) their relaxing qualities
c) the attraction Hollywood added
d) all of the above
3. Line 18, ‘so it was’ refers to .
a) it was funny to consider smoking to make you look better
b) the act of smoking was funny but this was considered to be better
c) dried leaves could be smoked and this was funny
d) smoking was considered to make you look better
4. The young people of the 1930’s and 1940’s .
a) became smokers when they grew up
b) needed the relaxing qualities of nicotine
c) became smokers to look like film stars
d) thought the act of smoking was funny
5. Nowadays, smokers .
a) donl realise how dangerous smoking is
b) smoke for social enjoyment and relaxation
c) have realised the dangers of smoking and are giving it up
d) know they might die if they continue smoking
6. The step taken by the British Government .
a) made people smoke a little more
b) helped decrease the number of smokers
c) was not interesting for cigarette manufacturers
d) caused a decrease in the tax income
7. This passage has been written .
a) as an attempt to make people stop smoking
b) as an attempt to explain why smoking is not really dangerous
c) to give a serious history of smoking
d) to point out all the dangers of smoking
If you smoke, your health can be affected so badly.
As long as you smoke, you are in the risk of cancer.