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A brief history of Smoking
Tobacco started growing in the Americas, and originally was native only to the Americas.
As far as we can tell it started growing around 6000BC,
It wasn’t really adopted for chewing and smoking until around 1000BC. Why people
started using tobacco in the Americas no one knows, but it is thought the first users
were the Mayan civilisation from where it gradually spread to Central America and
on to the rest of the continent – North and South America.
In the early 1490’s one of Christopher Columbus’s chums Jerez, became the first European
to take a puff - of a Cuban cigar. When he got home to Spain he continued the habit
by lighting up in public, an act which the Spanish Inquisition took a dim view of,
throwing him in jail for 3 years
It’s a toss up between Captains Drake and Hawkings as to who first introduced tobacco
to England, though it is thought the latter the more likely after 3 trips to the
Caribbean in the late 1500’s.
Sir Walter Raleigh introduced tobacco to court circles also around that time.
Not much later, the first consignment of tobacco arrived in England and, despite
initial laws banning its use in ale houses, it flourished and continued to grow up
to around 1945.
Sources: The Times, Guardian, BBC, Tobacco.org, Forest