The attitude to smoking has changed several times since the days when it was brought to Europe. Originally smoking a pipe was an Indian habit, which meant sealing a peace treaty. Though smoking was used not only in ceremonies but also in everyday life there.

So seamen spread the idea of smoking in Europe. Later this bad habit was brought to Russia by Peter I, but the purpose of it still remains ununderstandable. Probably no one in those days knew about the damage which it brings to health. It was a fashionable feature.

The church thinks smoking to be a manifestation of paganism and a way to kill oneself, i.e. suicide, which is absolutely true. What makes people commit suicide then?

Some say that tobacco has a special flavour and nicotine causes addiction. I think it is just a way to acquit people of weak will. The same may be said about drinking alcohol.

Some time ago, somewhere in the 30s or 40s smoking was considered to be fashionable and was even depicted in cinematography. A smoking woman was intended to produce a special effect on the viewer. Many people and especially young women followed this example not only at that time but also later. A. Chekhov said: ’ Kissing a smoking woman is like licking an ash-tray’. And I fully agree with it. It is especially disgusting to see the younger generation smoking by a University or a school or just walking with a cigarette in the street.

I have never tried smoking. Every time we discuss some point or phenomenon, we try to find advantages and disadvantages in it. Smoking is unique in this regard: it has no advantages at all. Though, there is one: if somebody is tired of life, he should smoke more to leave this world sooner.

Now let’s talk about the disadvantages and even dangers of smoking.

It ruins people’s health. It really does. There are no ‘light’ cigarettes. All the filters that have been invented so far are not effective. Smoking does not ruin the lungs only: it brings damage to everything in the body – to the bones, teeth, heart, blood vessels.

Smoking is harmful to the wallet. Though in Russia cigarettes are not so expensive as in European countries. Norway, New Zealand and Australia have the highest prices for a pack of cigarettes. Clever people! Maybe the most effective way to reduce the number of smokers in the country is to raise the prices.

Smokers don’t often realize that they have bad breath. Most people find it repulsive.

Finally, anything that causes addiction is bad. No matter what it is, it limits you in your personal freedom. So before lighting the first cigarette everyone should think carefully if he really needs it or not.

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