The history of tobacco in the world

History of tobacco in the world.  Illustration from the site virtual.parkland.edu

The first images of tobacco smokers have been found in ancient temples in Central America, date back to the year 1000 BC. Tobacco was at a premium at the local healers: He is credited with medicinal properties, and tobacco leaves were used as a painkiller.

Tobacco use was included in the religious rituals of the ancient civilizations of America: the participants believed that the inhalation of tobacco smoke helps them to communicate with the gods. During this period, developed two methods of smoking tobacco in North America have become popular tube, whereas in South America was widespread cigar smoking twisted tobacco leaves from whole.

There is some evidence that Columbus, the first European to get acquainted with the tobacco leaves, did not appreciate them, he just threw this gift natives. However, several members of the expedition witnessed the ritual of smoking large twisted tobacco leaves, which the locals called Tobago or tobacco, and interested in the process.

After returning to his homeland converts tobacco lovers have been accused by the Inquisition in connection with the devil. Despite the persecution of the Inquisition, the Spanish and the Portuguese continued to bring the leaves and seeds of tobacco in Europe.

The spread of tobacco in the Old World have contributed to and respected public figures: in 1561 the French ambassador in Lisbon, Jean Nicot sent tobacco to his queen, Catherine de Medici, and recommend it as an excellent remedy for migraine.

Sniffing tobacco became popular, tobacco was considered a panacea, to cure a variety of diseases not only smelled it, but also chewed and smoked. By the way, the generic scientific name of tobacco Nicotiania was given in honor of Jean Nico.

A century later, after the discovery of America Tobacco is grown in Belgium, Spain, Italy, Switzerland and England. Thanks to the expansion of trade ties, tobacco penetrated into Siberia and other regions of Asia. At the end of the XVI century English aristocrat, a heavy smoker, a sailor and a poet, Sir Walter Raleigh has created some tobacco plantations, including U.S. territories, one of which he named Virginia, which later gave its name to one of the most common varieties of tobacco.

By the end of XVII century in Europe has intensified the anti-tobacco movement, especially active tobacco fans criticized the church, and scientists began to investigate the effects of smoking on health. For example, the court physician of Louis XIV, the doctor Fagon, called smoking Pandora's box, which is fraught with unknown disease. To this the king replied that he could not deny smoking, since in this case the state will lose significant revenues it receives from the tobacco monopoly. Any attempt by European monarchs of the time limit the import or cultivation of tobacco led to a flourishing smuggling.

In 1890, 26 U.S. states have decided to ban the sale of cigarettes to minors. In 1908, the administration of New York City has banned women to smoke in public places, but the first offending law immediately began to fight for their rights. Since then, smoking has become synonymous with the movement of women's emancipation.

During the First World War, tobacco has become an indispensable part of the diet of the soldiers, he was recommended to smoke to calm the nerves. Tobacco has passed and the Second World War, Roosevelt announced tobacco strategic commodity for the period of wartime.

The Golden Age of the tobacco industry was in the post-war period: in the late 1940s and early 1950s, cigarettes were part of the image of many heroes and movie stars. In 1950 there were the first scientific publication about the dangers of tobacco, and the largest tobacco manufacturers have begun to produce cigarettes with filter. In 1960 he first appeared on packs of warnings about the dangers of smoking. 1980 was characterized by onset of the global assault ontobacco: Taxes on tobacco in the United States and Western European countries increased during this period by 85%. In the 1990s, lawsuits have dominated the news on the tobacco industry.

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