In mythology and religion, fire and smoke are full of meaning. Its floating intangibility and unreal character have made it possible for imaginative man to visualize it as mystery and magic. For thousands of years, tobacco has had a sacred purpose for many people all over the world. It was used for praying, for showing respect, for healing, and for giving spiritual protection. Tobacco was considered the ultimate sacred plant and its smoke fog was believed to carry one’s thoughts and prayers to the God or other powerful spirits.
Even for us moderns, fire and smoke have strong fascination. It is true magic that you allow to swallow fire and to exhale smoke through a lighted cigarette. Fire is the symbol of life, and the idea of fire is surrounded by much superstition and inspiration. Smoke or fog extends the fire further. When smoker light his cigarette and see the glow in the dark, he feels he is not alone any more. A cigarette seems to be something alive. When it is lighted it appears to be awakened, brought to life. It’s a fascinating thing to watch the smoke take shape. The smoke, like clouds, can form different shapes. Smokers like to sit back and blow rings and then blow another rings through the first ones, which make smokers relaxed.
The mind can concentrate best when all outside stimuli have been excluded. Smoking literally provides a sort of “smoke screen” that helps to shut out distractions. Many smokers felt and they couldn’t think or write without a cigarette. Moderate smoking stimulates their mental alertness, gives them a focal point and attention, provides their hands something to do; otherwise they might make them self-conscious and interfere with their mental activity.