Smoking, actually nobody knows just how or even when the first person got the idea to burn tobacco leaves and inhale the smoke, but most historians think that that first person was a Maya Indian. The Maya, who lived in what is now southern Mexico and Central America, had a great civilization which was at its height about 2,000 years ago.
For reasons that are shrouded in mystery, this civilization declined but the Maya people left behind great temples and pyramids whice can still be seen today, and they passed on many of their customs to the Indian civilizations that flourished after them. They are the Toltecs and the Aztecs. One Maya custom, tobacco smoking, spread to almost every other Indian group in North and South America.
The historians also believe that tobacco smoke was first used in religious ceremonies and rituals. In fact, the earliest known representation of tobacco smoking is found on a carving from a Maya temple at Palenque in southern Mexico. That shows an old man in a fancy headdress blowing smoke through a long, straight pipe. The man may be a shaman, a priest or medicine man, and he is probably offering the smoke to the gods as a prayer for rain. It is not surprising that the Maya used smoke in religious rituals - their strong tobaccos could produce altered states of consciousness, dreamlike images, and even hallucinations. The smoke itself, as it drifted up to the heavens and sometimes hid things and sometimes revealed them, also may have looked magical and mysterious.