In mythology and religion, smoke is full of meaning. Its floating intangibility and unreal character have made it possible for imaginative man to see there in mystery and magic. Even for us moderns, smoke has a strong fascination.
To the cigarette smoker, the clouds he puffs out seem to represent a part of himself. Just as most people like to watch their own breath on cold winter days, so they like to watch cigarette smoke, which similarly makes ones breathe visible.
This explains the emotional attitudes of many toward smoke. “Smoke is fascinating,” said one of the people we interviewed. “I like to watch the smoke. On a rainy day, I sort of lie in a haze in the middle of the room and let my thoughts wander while I smoke and wonder where the smoke goes.”
The desire to make things is deep-rooted — and smoke is manufactured by the smoker himself. Smoking provides satisfaction because it is a playful, creative activity.
This fact was well stated by one cigarette devotee as follows: “It’s a fascinating thing to watch the smoke take shape. The smoke, like clouds, can form different shapes…. You like to sit back and blow rings and then blow another rings through the first ones. You are perfectly relaxed.”