Saturday, November 26

War on Tobacco

James Surowiecki wrote
In 1638, Ch'ung-chen, the last Ming emperor, declared war on tobacco: anyone caught importing or using it would have his head chopped off.
He means the Chóngzhēn 崇禎 Emperor (r. 1627-1644) whose edicts date to 1639 and 1643. But this claims that Tàizōng 太宗 (r. 1626-1643) beat him to it, in 1635. The question is, why? It's not as if they could have known that tobacco was bad for one's health.

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