Smoking, Health, and Personality

Smoking, Health, and Personality

Smoking, Health, and Personality

Smoking, Health, and Personality

Excerpt

Tobacco, divine, rare, superexcellent tobacco, which goes far beyond all their panaceas, potable gold and philosopher's stones, a sovereign remedy to all diseases.... But, as it is commonly abused by most men, which take it as tinkers do ale, 'tis a plague, a mischief, a violent purger of goods, lands, health, hellish, devilish and damned tobacco, the ruin and overthrow of body and soul.

RICHARD BURTON

MY LOVE-HATE relationship with the cigarette began a long time ago. I was thirteen at the time and I can well remember how I rather truculently told my grandmother, who was taking care of me, that I wanted to start smoking. I don't know what kind of a reaction I expected to get from her but she simply gave me sixpence and sent me down to the corner store to buy some cigarettes. When I had done that she calmly showed me how to light one and how to smoke it. Then she left me to it. I had a vague feeling that this was not quite the right thing to do; somehow it seemed to take all the fun out of it. I did persevere for a few days but finally decided that there was not much amusement to be got out of it and gave it up. I am sure if she had made a fuss, forbidden me to smoke and threatened to tell my father, the whole thing would have been much more amusing, and I might even have continued. However, in spite of a few sporadic attempts during the next few months smoking just didn't seem to fill any of my needs, and I decided to rather turn to wine, women and song. Unfortunately, I had a voice . . .

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