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Adding Smoke to Breath

(22 February 2019)

Adding Smoke to Breath by Dr Andrew Russell at Palace Green Library, on Thursday, 28 February at 6pm. This relaxed evening talk will focus on the history of tobacco smoking and the consequences, acknowledged and unacknowledged, of adding smoke to breath in this way. Book via Eventbrite. If you have any queries, please visit our website or contact us at

Coinciding with the publication of Dr Andrew Russell's book Anthropology of Tobacco: Ethnographic Adventures in Non-Human Worlds (Routledge, 2019), Andrew's talk will present tobacco as a plant with agency and the ability to assume different shapes according to the diverse political and economic contexts in which it is found and which it helps form. 

In the past 500 years, tobacco use has spread rapidly from its evolutionary origins among indigenous communities in South America. This worldwide growth has been fuelled by its addictive properties, a murky colonial history and its contemporary exploitation by the forces of corporate and state-sponsored capitalism.

This has had frequently disastrous consequences for human health and well-being worldwide. How has an apparently humble plant managed to achieve such world domination? What are the latest manifestations of its shape-shifting abilities? What needs to happen if we are ever to put this particular genie back in its lamp and consider seriously ‘a world without tobacco’?

The evening talk will take place in the Courtyard Café and will include a free glass of wine. Due to limited ticket numbers, please ensure that you book in advance to avoid disappointment.

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Please liaise with the designated contact for your department or college. For further guidance, email

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