Tobacco in daily life
Men, women and often children used to smoke. It was packaged and sold as cigarettes; crushed and processed to sniff, chew, roll or smoke in a pipe. The law prohibited farmers to keep tabacco for personal use, but nobody in the community ever bought tabacco products from the state monopoly. Who couldn't put away some leaves for personal use would buy their tobacco on the black market rather than pay the State.
“Then we would sell our stores or smoke some, just a bit, others came to us to buy then they would re-sell it to make cigaretts or in a pipe. We didn't get in the habit of smoking but those who did would cut leaves on a table with a knife very thinly to smoke." (Giuseppe C., Valstagna, 1999.)
“…And there were people who chewed’’ (Giovanna L., Valstagna, 1999.)
“ When it was smoked in a pipe the leftovers at the bottom of the bowl was called 'il bavol', the butt, it was like poison." (Giuseppe C.)
“It was like poison, and they smoked it all night long” (Giovanna L.)
During the processing of tobacco, while it aged and dried, its odor impregnated everything, walls, wooden objects and the very structure of a house, clothing, textiles and even people emenated a strong stench, so intense that in closed spaces it would cause dizziness.