IQALUIT, Nunavut - Smoking bans are infiltrating even the haziest corners of tobacco-loving cultures. When Ireland moved to ban cigarettes from pubs last year, the world watched in wonder. The Netherlands, facing its own ban in 2005, has experienced a hullabaloo over the issue. The shivering sidewalk smoker has become a predictable part of the Manhattan winter streetscape.
But all that may pale compared with the icy Canadian Arctic. Smoking has been an integral part of life here since European whalers introduced tobacco while docking in the region's fjords in the late 19th century. It is so common among the native Inuit who dominate the local population that grandfathers are known to light up with their grandchildren during breaks from hunting.