Sushidog (sushidog) wrote in little_details,

Civil war US - acceptable age to start smoking?

I'm not really sure how to google for this, so any pointers would be helpful!
What was an acceptable age to start smoking in America during the civil war?
My character is originally working class (his parents had a homestead in Missouri), but he was orphaned and has been unofficially adopted by a doctor who is working as an army surgeon. The surgeon smokes a pipe. If my character takes up smoking cigarettes (hand-rolled) at the age of 15, is that going to cause outrage and shock? Is it going to be considered odd, or "common"? Or is it a perfectly repectable and normal thing to do?

And for your five point bonus, if someone who is suffering from (untreated) TB smokes a pipe, will that cause extra problems? I know one doesn't inhale pipe smoke, and the character in question (the surgeon, as above) is stil mobile; he's suffering some symptoms (night sweats, fatigue, bloody phlegm, weight loss, loss of apetite) but is still mobile and able to work, so he's not in the end stages yet. Googling for combinations of "tuberculosis" and "pipe smoking" brings up lots of news reports about transmission risks from water pipes and hookahs, which isn't very helpful.

Many thanks!
Tags: usa: history: civil war

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