Smoking is a practice in which a substance is burned and the smoke is tasted or inhaled. It is a form of recreational drug use, as the burning causes the active substances in drugs such as nicotine to be released and available for absorption through the smoker's lungs.
The most common method of smoking today is through cigarettes, but there are also other smoking implements used, such as cigars and smoking pipes. Tobacco is the most commonly used substance for smoking while less common substances include cannabis, opium and heroin. These other substances are very heavily regulated or even banned by many governments around the world as they are generally deemed as harmful substances.
Medical studies have proven that smoking is a leading cause of many diseases, including lung cancer, heart attack, COPD, erectile dysfunction and birth defects. It has been suggested that smoking-related diseases kill half of all long term smokers but the diseases may also be contracted by non-smokers and passive smokers (people in close proximity to smokers). A 2007 report states that about 4.9 million people worldwide each year die as a result of smoking.
In some cultures, smoking is part of certain rituals to induce trances and achieve spiritual enlightenment.
Perception surrounding smoking varies over time and location; holy and sinful, sophisticated and vulgar, a panacea and deadly health hazard. The inherent health hazards of smoking have led to many countries imposing high taxes on tobacco products and launching anti-smoking campaigns annually to discourage smoking.
Smoking and spanking
While smoking is seen as acceptable among many adults despite its health hazards, some parents are firmly against the idea of allowing their children to smoke, especially if they too do not smoke. Spanking is a common punishment applied by parents to their children if they catch their children smoking or having tobacco products.
Many schools around the world prohibit smoking within the campus, because smoking is viewed as unacceptable for young children and teenagers. In some Asian countries like Malaysia, Singapore and Korea, if students are caught smoking in school, they may face school corporal punishment (usually for boys) and possible referral to government agencies to help them curb their smoking habit.
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