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The History of Cigarettes

Tobacco Origins and History

Prehistoric Conjectures: Small amounts of nicotine may have been present in certain Old World plants, including Belladonna and Nicotiana Africana, and nicotine byproducts have been found in human remains and smoking paraphenalia in the Africa and the Near East, there is no proof of habitual tobacco use in the Ancient world, on any continent except the New World.

6000 BC: Historians believe the tobacco plant, as we know it today, begins growing in the New World.

1st Century BC: Historians believe Native American have begun using tobacco, including smoking, chewing and perhaps in hallucinogenic enemas.

1st Century AD: Tobacco was ubiquitous in the Americas.

600-1000 AD: In Guatemala, first pictorial representations of smoking tobacco: A pottery vessel found here dates from before the 11th century. On a Maya piece of pottery, a Mayan is depicted smoking a roll of tobacco leaves bound together with a string.

Post Columbian Tobacco History in the Western Culture

On October 12, 1492, Columbus is introduced to tobacco by the locals in the New World. He is given dried leaves and throws them away.

On October 15, 1492, In his journal, Columbus mentions tobacco for the first time. He states that it is held in high value amongst the natives.

November 1492, Rodrigo de Jerez and Luis de Torres first observe the native smoking ritual and try it themselves. Jerez becomes the first smoker of western decent.

In 1497, the smoking by New World natives of tobacco is first reported in Europe.

In 1498, Columbus sails to Tobago and names it after the native pipe used to smoke tobacco.

In 1531, Europeans begin growing tobacco on Santo Domingo.

In 1535, Jacques Cartier observes natives on the Isle of Montreal smoking tobacco.

In 1548, the Portuguese begin to grow tobacco for export in Brazil.

In 1556, tobacco is first brought to France.

In 1558, tobacco is first brought to Spain and Portugal.

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