Tobacco was introduced in the middle of the 16th century, and it spread out quickly owing to the continuing wars, the changes of the Ming dynasty to the Qing dynasty, the medical actions of the tobacco and etc. The assertions like "Tobacco is bad for ...
Tobacco was introduced in the middle of the 16th century, and it spread out quickly owing to the continuing wars, the changes of the Ming dynasty to the Qing dynasty, the medical actions of the tobacco and etc. The assertions like "Tobacco is bad for health." and "It hinders the production of food." were continued, but since the latter half of the 17th century, smoking tobacco were spreaded to all over China among the people of all ages and sexes, and in the middle of 18th century, smoking tobacco became a common practice of every day life, it was so common that a saying, "Meals or drinking may be skipped but smoking isn't." and tobacco established itself as one of the main daily necessities firmly. Tobacco became a inevitable means of association, and a means of showing his social status, and the introduction of shisha(hookah) and snuff brought in the differentiation of the smokers and gave different levels of luxuriousness to each smoking method.
As the smoking became the activities of the every day life, a smoking culture was formed, the smoking culture spread smokings again, became the main forces in developing and maintaining the tobacco industry. Also the smoking culture stimulated the development in art and science, and contributed in stabilizing the societies. The productions and distribution of beautiful and luxurious snuff bottles developed the field of snuff bottle production. The developments of Kaozhengxue which represents the learning and the stabilization of the society in the Qing dynasty are supposed to be deeply related to the pharmacological and physiological functions of tobacco which reduces social dissention and personal stresses. And those effects of smoking can be found from the facts that Ji Yun was well known as a habitual smoker who was a great scholar and chief-director in editing Sikuquanshu at the times of the emperor Qianlong and Jiaqing who supported the scholars during the mid-Qing dynasty, and Quan Zuwang was also a chain smoker who was a representatives of the Zhedong School, and from a saying, "8 or 9 out of 10 high ranking officials in Beijing are smokers".
The Smoking Cultures in Qing dynasty was embodied into various tools and etiquettes. 1st, like Europe, taking snuffs came into fashion. The snuff bottles was mainly black, and it's because the emperor Yongzheng emperor liked black bottles. The facts that the emperor liked taking snuff tobacco and sent snuffs and snuff bottles to foreign envoys and the important people, established the recognition that snuff was "a precious gift". 2nd, when meeting others, tobacco was offered to each other first, and also when treating guests tobacco was offered first. When sending gifts or paying back the gifts, tobacco was sent. From these customs, tobacco became as a medium of exchanges. 3rd, among the common people, smoking etiquettes such as the principles "Do not smoke tobacco during the religious service.", the assertions "Do not smoke tobacco in front of ume flowers" appeared, and also the smoking etiquettes for the nobles differentiated from those of the common people were established. The above mentioned smoking cultures formed the Chinese smoking customs and etiquettes expressed in a proverb "A smoking after meal is as pleasant as heavenly spirit." or in a saying "Smoking and drinking must go together", and handed down to now.
In conclusion, the smoking cultures in the Qing dynasty were formed under the multiple effects of the ruling ideology of the society, the methods of smoking, the social status and economical powers of the smokers', the kinds of the communities the smokers came from or resided, the smoker's ideologic backgrounds and his recognition on smoking, the relationship between smoking and drinking and food, and the international cultural exchanges.