Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Lighting Up as History

In keeping with a number of public health posts recently, the Woodrow Wilson Center spotlight's one of their fellows, Carol Ann Benedict, who is compiling a social and cultural history of smoking in China:

Smoking tobacco has long been embedded in Chinese culture. "One of tobacco's enduring aspects is that it's always associated with sociability and hospitality," she said. "From the beginning, tobacco has always been a gift item." The Chinese typically give out cartons of cigarettes at banquets and as wedding gifts. "In China, if we were men and you walked into my office, I'd have given you a cigarette as an expression of sociability."

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