This is my friend Abel, an honest fellow;

He lets me have good tobacco.

BEN JONSON, _The Alchemist._

The druggists and other tradesmen who sold tobacco in Elizabethan and

Jacobean days had every provision for the convenience of their

numerous customers. Some so-called druggists, it may be shrewdly

suspected, did much more business in tobacco than they did in drugs

Dekker tells us of an apothecary and his wife who had no customers

resorting to their shop "for any phisicall stuffe," but whose shop had

many frequenters in the shape of gentlemen who "came to take their

pipes of the divine smoake." That tobacco was often the most

profitable part of a druggist's stock is also clear from the last

sentence in Bishop Earle's character of "A Tobacco-Seller," one of the

shortest in that remarkable collection of "Characters" which the

Bishop issued in 1628 under the title of "Micro-Cosmographie."

"A Tobacco-Seller," says Earle, "is the onely man that findes good in

it which others brag of, but do not; for it is meate, drinke, and

clothes to him. No man opens his ware with greater seriousnesse, or

challenges your judgement more in the approbation. His shop is the

Randevous of spitting, where men dialogue with their noses, and their

communication is smoake. It is the place onely where Spaine is

commended, and prefer'd before England itselfe. He should be well

experienc'd in the world: for he ha's daily tryall of mens nostrils,

and none is better acquainted with humors. Hee is the piecing commonly

of some other trade which is bawde to his Tobacco, and that to his

wife, which is the flame that follows this smoke."

This brief "Character" is hardly so pointed or so effective as some of

the others in the "Micro-Cosmographie," but it would seem that the

Bishop was not very friendly to tobacco. In the character of "A

Drunkard" he says: "Tobacco serves to aire him after a washing [_i.e._

a drinking-bout], and is his onely breath, and breathing while." In

another, a tavern "is the common consumption of the Afternoone, and

the murderer, or maker away of a rainy day. It is the Torrid Zone that

scorches the face, and Tobacco the gunpowder that blows it up."

The druggist-tobacconists were well stocked with abundance of

pipes--those known as Winchester pipes were highly popular--with maple

blocks for cutting or shredding the tobacco upon, juniper wood

charcoal fires, and silver tongs with which the hot charcoal could be

lifted to light the customer's pipe. The maple block was in constant

use in those days, when the many present forms of prepared tobacco and

varied mixtures were unknown. In Middleton and Dekker's "Roaring

Girl," 1611, the "mincing and shredding of tobacco" is mentioned; and

in the same play, by the way, we are told that "a pipe of rich smoak"

was sold for sixpence.

The tobacco-tongs were more properly called ember-or brand-tongs. They

sometimes had a tobacco-stopper riveted in near the axis of the tongs,

and thus could be easily distinguished from other kinds of tongs. An

example in the Guildhall Museum, made of brass, and probably of late

seventeenth-century date, has the end of one of the handles formed

into a stopper. In the same collection there are several pairs of

ember-tongs with handles or jaws decorated. In one or two a handle

terminates in a hook, by which they could be hung up when not required

for use. In that delightful book of pictures and gossip concerning old

household and farming gear, and old-fashioned domestic plenishings of

many kinds, called "Old West Surrey," Miss Jekyll figures two pairs of

old ember-or brand-tongs. One of these quite deserves the praise which

she bestows upon it. "Its lines," says Miss Jekyll, "fill one with the

satisfaction caused by a thing that is exactly right, and with

admiration for the art and skill of a true artist." These homely tongs

are fashioned with a fine eye for symmetry, and, indeed, for beauty of

design and perfect fitness for the intended purpose. The ends which

were to pick up the coal are shaped like two little hands, while "the

edges have slight mouldings and even a low bead enrichment. The

circular flat on the side away from the projecting stopper has two

tiny engraved pictures; on one side of the joint a bottle and tall

wine-glass, on the other a pair of long clay pipes crossed, and a bowl

of tobacco shown in section." This beautiful little implement bears

the engraved name of its Surrey maker, and the date 1795.

Country-folk nowadays often light their pipes in the old way, by

picking up a live coal, or, in Ireland, a fragment of glowing peat,

from the kitchen fire, with the ordinary tongs, and applying it to the

pipe-bowl; but the old ember-tongs are seldom seen. They may still be

found in some farmhouses and country cottages, which have not been

raided by the agents of dealers in antique furniture and implements,

but examples are rare. This is a digression, however, which has

carried us far away from the early years of the seventeenth century.

It is pretty clear that not a few of the druggists who sold tobacco

were great rascals. Ben Jonson has let us into some of their secrets

of adulteration--the treatment of the leaf with oil and the lees of

sack, the increase of its weight by other artificial additions to its

moisture, washing it in muscadel and grains, keeping it in greased

leather and oiled rags buried in gravel under ground, and by like

devices. Other writers speak of black spice, galanga, aqua vitae,

Spanish wine, aniseeds and other things as being used for purposes of


Trickery of another kind is revealed in a scene in Chapman's play "A

Humorous Day's Mirth," 1599. A customer at an ordinary says: "Hark

you, my host, have you a pipe of good tobacco?" "The best in the

town," says mine host, after the manner of his class. "Boy, dry a

leaf." Quietly the boy tells him, "There's none in the house, sir," to

which the worthy host replies _sotto voce_, "Dry a dock leaf." But the

diner's potations must have been powerful if they had left him unable

to distinguish between the taste of tobacco and that of dried


Sometimes coltsfoot was mixed with tobacco. Ursula, the pig-woman and

refreshment-booth keeper in Bartholomew Fair, in Ben Jonson's play of

that name, says to her assistant: "Threepence a pipe-full I will have

made, of all my whole half-pound of tobacco and a quarter of a pound

of coltsfoot mixt with it too to eke it out."

The fumes of dried coltsfoot leaves were used as a remedy in cases of

difficulty of breathing, both in ancient Roman times and in Tudor

England. Lyte, in his translation, 1578, of Dodoens' "Historie of

Plants," says of coltsfoot: "The parfume of the dryed leaves layde

upon quicke coles, taken into the mouth through the pipe of a funnell,

or tunnell, helpeth suche as are troubled with the shortnesse of

winde, and fetche their breath thicke or often, and do [_sic_] breake

without daunger the impostems of the breast." The leaves of coltsfoot

and of other plants have often been used as a substitute for tobacco

in modern days. A correspondent of _Notes and Queries_, in 1897, said

that when he was a boy he knew an old Calvinist minister, who used to

smoke a dried mixture of the leaves of horehound, yarrow and "foal's

foot" intermingled with a small quantity of tobacco. He said it was a

very good substitute for the genuine article. Similar mixtures, or the

leaves of coltsfoot alone, have often been smoked in bygone days by

folk who could not afford to smoke tobacco only.

The number of shops where tobacco was sold in the early days of its

triumph seems to have been extraordinary. Barnaby Rich, one of the

most prolific parents of pamphlets in an age of prolific writers,

wrote a satire on "The Honestie of this Age," which was printed in

1614. In this production Rich declares that every fellow who came into

an ale-house and called for his pot, must have his pipe also, for

tobacco was then a commodity as much sold in every tavern, inn and

ale-house as wine, ale, or beer. He goes on to say that apothecaries'

shops, grocers' shops, and chandlers' shops were (almost) never

without company who from morning to night were still taking tobacco;

and what a number there are besides, he adds, "that doe keepe houses,

set open shoppes, that have no other trade to live by but by the

selling of tobacco." Rich says he had been told that a list had been

recently made of all the houses that traded in tobacco in and near

about London, and that if a man might believe what was confidently

reported, there were found to be upwards of 7000 houses that lived by

that trade; but he could not say whether the apothecaries', grocers'

and chandlers' shops, where tobacco was also sold, were included in

that number. He proceeds to calculate what the annual expenditure on

smoke must be. The number of 7000 seems very large and is perhaps

exaggerated. Round numbers are apt to be over rather than under the


Another proof of the extraordinary popularity of the new habit is to

be found in the fact that by the seventeenth year of the reign of

James I--the arch-enemy of tobacco--that is, by 1620, the Society of

Tobacco-pipe-makers had become so very numerous and considerable a

body that they were incorporated by royal charter, and bore on their

shield a tobacco plant in full blossom. The Society's motto was

happily chosen--"Let brotherly love continue."

A further witness to the prevalence of smoking and to the enormous

number of tobacco-sellers' shops is Camden, the antiquary. In his

"Annales," 1625, he remarks with curious detail that since its

introduction--"that Indian plant called Tobacco, or Nicotiana, is

growne so frequent in use and of such price, that many, nay, the most

part, with an insatiable desire doe take of it, drawing into their

mouth the smoke thereof, which is of a strong scent, through a pipe

made of earth, and venting of it againe through their nose; some for

wantownesse, or rather fashion sake, and other for health sake,

insomuch that Tobacco shops are set up in greater number than either

Alehouses or Tavernes."

One result of the herb's popularity was found in frequent attempts by

tradesmen of various kinds to sell it without being duly licensed to

do so. Mr. W.G. Bell, in his valuable book on "Fleet Street in Seven

Centuries," mentions the arrest of a Fleet Street grocer by the Star

Chamber for unlicensed trading in tobacco. He also quotes from the St.

Dunstan's Wardmote Register of 1630 several cases of complaint against

unlicensed traders and others. Four men were presented "for selling

ale and tobacco unlicensed, and for annoying the Judges of Serjeants

Inn whose chambers are near adjoyning." Two other men, one of them

hailing from the notorious Ram Alley, were presented "for annoying the

Judges at Serjeants Inn with the stench and smell of their tobacco,"

which looks as if the Judges were of King James's mind about smoking.

The same Register of 1630 records the presentment of two men of the

same family name--Thomas Bouringe and Philip Bouringe--"for keeping

open their shops and selling tobacco at unlawful hours, and having

disorderly people in their house to the great disturbance of all the

inhabitants and neighbours near adjoining." The Ram Alley, Fleet

Street, mentioned above, was notorious in sundry ways. Mr. Bell

mentions that in 1618 the wardmote laid complaint against Timothy

Louse and John Barker, of Ram Alley, "for keeping their

tobacco-shoppes open all night and fyers in the same without any

chimney and suffering hot waters [spirits] and selling also without

licence, to the great disquietness and annoyance of that

neighbourhood." There were sad goings on of many kinds in Ram Alley.

It is uncertain when licences were first issued for the sale of

tobacco. Probably they were issued in London some time before it was

considered necessary to license dealers in other parts of the country.

Among the Municipal Records of Exeter is the following note: "358.

Whitehall, 31 August 1633. The Lords of the Council to the Chamber.

'Whereas his Ma^tie to prevent the excesse of the use of Tobacco, and

to set an order to those that regrate and sell or utter it by retayle,

who observe noe reasonable rates or prizes [prices], nor take care

that it be wholsome for men's bodyes that shall use it,' has caused

letters to be sent to the chief Officers of Citties and towns

requiring them to certify 'in what places it might be fitt to suffer

ye retayleing of Tobacco and how many be licenced in each of those

places to use trade'; and the City of Exeter having made a return the

Lords sent a list of those which are to be licensed, and order that no

others be permitted to sell."

In the neighbouring county of Somerset the Justices of the Peace sent

presentments to the Council in 1632 of persons within the Hundred of

Milverton and Kingsbury West thought fit to sell tobacco by retail;

and for Wiveliscombe, Mr. Hancock says in his book on that old town, a

mercer and a hosier were selected.

It would seem, from one example I have noted, as if in some places

smoking were not allowed in public-houses. In the account-book of St.

Stephen's Church and Parish, Norwich, the income for the year 1628-29

included on one occasion 20s. received by way of fine from one Edmond

Nockals for selling a pot of beer "wanting in measure, contrary to the

law," and another sovereign from William Howlyns for a like offence.

This is right and intelligible enough; but on another occasion in the

same year each of these men, who presumably were ale-house keepers,

had to pay 30s.--a substantial sum considering the then value of

money--for the same offence and "for suffering parishioners to smoke

in his house." I have been unable to obtain any information as to why

a publican should have been fined an additional 10s. for the heinous

offence of allowing a brother parishioner to smoke in his house.

Penalties for "offences" of this fanciful kind were not common in

England; but in Puritan New England they were abundant. In the early

days of the American Colonies the use of the "creature called Tobacko"

was by no means encouraged. In Connecticut a man was permitted by the

law to smoke once if he went on a journey of ten miles, but not more

than once a day and by no means in another man's house. It could

hardly have been difficult to evade so absurd a regulation as this.

It has been already stated that the Elizabethan gallant was

acquainted with the most fashionable methods of inhaling and exhaling

the smoke of tobacco. A singular feature of the enthusiasm for tobacco

in the early years of the seventeenth century was the existence of

professors of the art of smoking.

Some of the apothecaries whose shops were in most repute for the

quality of the tobacco kept, took pupils and taught them the

"slights," as tricks with the pipe were called. These included

exhaling the smoke in little globes, rings and so forth. The

invaluable Ben Jonson, in the preliminary account of the characters in

his "Every Man out of his Humour," 1600, describes one Sogliardo as

"an essential clown ... yet so enamoured of the name of a gentleman

that he will have it though he buys it. He comes up every term to

learn to take tobacco and see new motions." Sogliardo was accustomed

to hire a private room to practise in. The fashionable way was to

expel the smoke through the nose. In a play by Field of 1618, a

foolish nobleman is asked by some boon companions in a tavern: "Will

your lordship take any tobacco?" when another sneers, "'Sheart! he

cannot put it through his nose!" His lordship was apparently not well

versed in the "slights."

Taking tobacco was clearly an accomplishment to be studied seriously.

Shift, a professor of the art in Jonson's play, puts up a bill in St.

Paul's--the recognized centre for advertisements and commercial

business of every kind--in which he offers to teach any young

gentleman newly come into his inheritance, who wishes to be as exactly

qualified as the best of the ordinary-hunting gallants are--"to

entertain the most gentlemanlike use of tobacco; as first, to give it

the most exquisite perfume; then to know all the delicate sweet forms

for the assumption of it; as also the rare corollary and practice of

the Cuban ebolition, euripus and whiff, which he shall receive, or

take in here at London, and evaporate at Uxbridge, or farther, if it

please him."

Taking the whiff, it has been suggested, may have been either a

swallowing of the smoke, or a retaining it in the throat for a given

space of time; but what may be meant by the "Cuban ebolition" or the

"euripus" is perhaps best left to the imagination. "Ebolition" is

simply a variant of "ebullition," and "ebullition," as applied with

burlesque intent to rapid smoking--the vapour bubbling rapidly from

the pipe-bowl--is intelligible enough, but why Cuban? "Euripus" was

the name, in ancient geography, of the channel between Euboea

(Negropont) and the mainland--a passage which was celebrated for the

violence and uncertainty of its currents--and hence the name was

occasionally applied by our older writers to any strait or sea-channel

having like characteristics. The use of the word in connexion with

tobacco may, like that of "ebolition," have some reference to furious

smoking, but the meaning is not clear.

If one contemporary writer may be believed, some of these early

smokers acquired the art of emitting the smoke through their ears, but

a healthy scepticism is permissible here.

The accomplished Shift promises a would-be pupil in the art of taking

tobacco that if he pleases to be a practitioner, he shall learn in a

fortnight to "take it plausibly in any ordinary, theatre, or the

Tiltyard, if need be, in the most popular assembly that is." The

Tiltyard adjoined Whitehall Palace and was the frequent scene of

sports in which Queen Elizabeth took the greatest delight. Here took

place, not only tilting properly so called, but rope-walking

performances, bear- and bull-baiting, dancing and other diversions

which her Majesty held in high favour. Consequently the Tiltyard was

constantly the scene of courtly gatherings; and if smoking were

permitted on such occasions--as Shift's boasting promises would appear

to indicate--then it may be reasonably inferred that Queen Elizabeth

did not entertain the objections to the new practice that her

successor, King James, set forth with such vehemence in his famous

"Counterblaste to Tobacco." There is, however, no positive evidence

one way or the other, to show what the attitude of the Virgin Queen

towards tobacco really was. A tradition as to her smoking herself on

one occasion is referred to in a subsequent chapter--that on "Smoking

by Women."

Although tobacco was in such general use it yet had plenty of enemies.

It was extravagantly abused and extravagantly praised. Robert Burton,

of "Anatomy of Melancholy" fame, like many other writers of his time,

was prepared to admit the medicinal value of the herb, though he

detested the general habit of smoking. Tobacco was supposed in those

days to be "good for" a surprising variety of ailments and diseases;

but to explore that little section of popular medicine would be

foreign to my purpose. Burton believed in tobacco as medicine; but

with regard to habitual smoking he was a worthy follower of King

James, the strength of whose language he sought to emulate and exceed

when he denounced the common taking of tobacco "by most men, which

take it as tinkers do ale"--as "a plague, a mischief, a violent purger

of goods, lands, health, hellish, devilish, and damned tobacco, the

ruin and overthrow of body and soul." No anti-tobacconist could wish

for a more whole-hearted denunciation than that.

Thomas Dekker, to whose pictures of London social life at the opening

of the seventeenth century we are so much indebted for information

both with regard to smoking and in respect of many other matters of

interest, was himself an enemy of tobacco. He politely refers to "that

great Tobacconist, the Prince of Smoake and Darkness, Don Pluto"; and

in another place addresses tobacco as "thou beggarly Monarche of

Indians, and setter up of rotten-lungd chimney-sweepers," and proceeds

in a like strain of abuse.

One of the most curious of the early publications on tobacco, in which

an attempt is made to hold the balance fairly between the legitimate

use and the "licentious" abuse of the herb, is Tobias Venner's tract

with the long-winded title: "A Brief and Accurate Treatise concerning

The taking of the Fume of Tobacco, Which very many, in these dayes doe

too licenciously use. In which the immoderate, irregular, and

unseasonable use thereof is reprehended, and the true nature and best

manner of using it, perspicuously demonstrated." Venner described

himself as a doctor of physic in Bath, and his tract was published in

London in 1637. Venner says that tobacco is of "ineffable force" for

the rapid healing of wounds, cuts, sores and so on, by external

application, but thinks little of its use for any other purpose. Like

others of his school, he attacks the "licentious Tobacconists

health, wealth, and witts in taking of this loathsome and unsavorie

fume." He admits the popularity of the herb, but expresses his own

personal objection to the "detestable savour or smack that it leaveth

behind upon the taking of it"; from which one is inclined to surmise

that the doctor's first pipe was not an entire success. With an

evident desire to be fair, Venner, notwithstanding his dislike of the

"savour," refuses to condemn tobacco utterly, because of what he

considers its valuable medicinal qualities, and he goes so far as to

give "10 precepts in the use of" tobacco. The sixth is "that you drink

not between the taking of the fumes, as our idle and smoakie

Tobacconists are wont"--there must be no alliance, in short, between

the pipe and the cheerful glass. The tenth and last precept is "that

you goe not abroad into the aire presently [immediately] upon the

taking of the fume, but rather refrain therefrom the space of halfe an

houre, or more, especially if the season be cold, or moist." The

suggestion that the smoker, when he has finished his pipe, shall wait

for half an hour or so before he ventures into the outer air is very


Venner goes on to give a terrible catalogue of the ills that will

befall the smoker who uses tobacco "contrary to the order and way I

have set down." It is a dreadful list which may possibly have

frightened a few nervous smokers; but probably it had no greater

effect than the terrible curse in the "Jackdaw of Rheims."

Another tract which may be classed with Venner's "Treatise" was the

"Nepenthes or the Vertues of Tobacco," by Dr. William Barclay, which

was published at Edinburgh in 1614. This is sometimes referred to and

quoted, as by Fairholt, as if it were a whole-hearted defence of

tobacco-taking. But Barclay enlarges mainly on the medicinal virtues

of the herb. "If Tabacco," he says, "were used physically and with

discretion there were no medicament in the worlde comparable to it";

and again: "In Tabacco there is nothing which is not medicine, the

root, the stalke, the leaves, the seeds, the smoake, the ashes." The

doctor gives sundry directions for administering tobacco--"to be used

in infusion, in decoction, in substance, in smoke, in salt." But

Barclay clearly does not sympathize with its indiscriminate use for

pleasure. "As concerning the smoke," he says, "it may be taken more

frequently, and for the said effects, but always fasting, and with

emptie stomack, not as the English abusers do, which make a smoke-boxe

of their skull, more fit to be carried under his arme that selleth at

Paris _dunoir a noircir_ to blacke mens shooes then to carie the

braine of him that can not walke, can not ryde except the Tabacco Pype

be in his mouth." He goes on to say that he was once in company with

an English merchant in Normandy--"betweene Rowen and New-haven"--who

was a merry fellow, but was constantly wanting a coal to kindle his

tobacco. "The Frenchman wondered and I laughed at his intemperancie."

It is a little curious, considering the devotion of latter-day men of

letters to tobacco, that in their early days so many of the men who

wrote on the subject attacked the social use of tobacco with violence

and virulence. Perhaps, courtier-like, they followed the lead of the

British Solomon, King James I. Their titles are characteristic of

their style. A writer named Deacon published in 1616 a quarto entitled

"Tobacco tortured in the filthy Fumes of Tobacco refined"; but Joshua

Sylvester had easily surpassed this when he wrote his "Tobacco

Battered and the Pipes Shattered about their Eares, that idely Idolize

so base and barbarous a Weed, or at least overlove so loathsome a

Vanity, by a Volley of Holy Shot Thundered from Mount Helicon," 1615.

Controversialists of that period rejoiced in full-worded titles and in

full-blooded praise or abuse.

Deacon, as the title of his book just quoted shows, was very fond of

alliteration, and one sentence of his diatribe may be quoted. He

warned his readers that tobacco-smoke was "very pernicious unto their

bodies, too profluvious for many of their purses, and most pestiferous

to the publike State." Much may be forgiven, however, to the

introducer of so charming a term of abuse as "profluvious." Deacon's

book takes the form of a dialogue, and after nearly 200 pages of

argument, in which the unfortunate herb gets no mercy, one of the

interlocutors, a trader in tobacco, is so convinced of the iniquity of

his trade, and of his own parlous state if he continue therein, that

he declares that the two hundred pounds' worth of this "beastly

tobacco" which he owns, shall "presently packe to the fire," or else

be sent "swimming down the Thames."

Many good folk would seem to have associated smoking with idling. In

the rules of the Grammar School at Chigwell, Essex, which was founded

in 1629, it is prescribed that "the Master must be a man of sound

religion, neither a Papist nor a Puritan, of a grave behaviour, and

sober and honest conversation, no tippler or haunter of alehouses, no

puffer of tobacco." A worthy Derbyshire man named Campbell, in his

will dated 20 October 1616, left all his household goods to his son,

"on this condition that yf at any time hereafter, any of his brothers

or sisters shall fynd him takeing of tobacco, that then he or she so

fynding him, shall have the said goods"--a testamentary arrangement

which suggests to the fancy some amusing strategic evasions and

manoeuvres on the part of the conditional legatee and his watchful


A converse view of smoking may be seen in Izaak Walton's "Life" of Sir

Henry Wotton, who died in 1639. Walton says that Wotton obtained

relief to some extent from asthma by leaving off smoking which he had

practised "somewhat immoderately"--"_as many thoughtful men do_." The

italics are mine.

Tobacco, as has been said, was praised as well as abused

extravagantly. Much absurdity was written in glorification of the

medicinal and therapeutic properties of tobacco, but a more sensible

note was struck by some lauders of the weed. Marston wrote in 1607:

_Musicke, tobacco, sacke and sleepe,

The tide of sorrow backward keep._

An ingenious lover of his pipe declared ironically in the same year

that he had found three bad qualities in tobacco, for it made a man a

thief (which meant danger), a good fellow (which meant cost), and a

niggard ("the name of which is hateful"). "It makes him a theefe," he

continued "for he will steale it from his father; a good fellow, for

he will give the smoake to a beggar; a niggard, for he will not part

with his box to an Emperor!" A character in one of Chapman's plays,

1606, calls tobacco "the gentleman's saint and the soldier's idol." A

little-known bard of 1630--Barten Holiday--wrote a poem of eight

stanzas with chorus to each in praise of tobacco, in which he showed

with a touch of burlesque that the herb was a musician, a lawyer, a

physician, a traveller, a critic, an ignis fatuus, and a whiffler,

_i.e._ a braggart. The first verse may suffice as a specimen:

_Tobacco's a musician,

And in a pipe delighteth,

It descends in a close

Through the organ of the nose

With a relish that inviteth._

These are merely a few examples of both the praise and the abuse which

were lavished upon tobacco at this early stage in the history of

smoking. It would be easy to fill many pages with the like

testimonials and denunciations, especially the latter, from writers of

the early decades of the seventeenth century. Perhaps the most curious

thing in connexion with the immense number of allusions to smoking in

the literature of the period is that there is no mention whatever of

tobacco or smoking in the plays of William Shakespeare. As Edmund

Spenser, in the "Faerie Queene," speaks of

_The soveraine weede, divine tobacco_,

it may be presumed that he was a smoker.