A Brief Look at
The History Of Tobacco

The History of Tobacco or Tobacco Origin can take us back to the 1500's but first a peek from its usages in the early Americas. It became increasingly popular with the arrival of the Europeans by whom it was heavily traded. Following the industrial revolution, cigarettes became popularized, which fostered yet another unparalleled increase in growth. This remained so until the scientific revelations in the mid-1990s.

In Western Europe

In the history of tobacco as with everything there is always an origin, lets get a little closer to Tobacco Origin. The Spanish introduced tobacco to Europeans in about 1518, and by 1523, Diego Columbus mentioned a tobacco merchant of Lisbon in his will, showing how quickly the traffic had sprung up. Nicot, French ambassador in Lisbon, sent samples to Paris in 1559. The French, Spanish, and Portuguese initially referred to the plant as the "sacred herb" because of its valuable medicinal properties.

The importation of tobacco into Europe was not without resistance and controversy in the 17th century. Stuart King James I wrote a famous polemic titled A Counterblaste to Tobacco in 1604, in which the king denounced tobacco use as "[a] custome lothsome to the eye, hatefull to the Nose, harmefull to the braine, dangerous to the Lungs, and in the blacke stinking fume thereof, neerest resembling the horrible Stigian smoke of the pit that is bottomelesse." In that same year, an English statute was enacted that placed a heavy protective tariff on every pound of tobacco brought into England. England bacame quite a contributor in The History of Tobacco.

This 1670 painting shows enslaved Africans working

In the United States

In 1609, John Rolfe arrived at the Jamestown Settlement in Virginia, and is credited as the first settler to have successfully raised tobacco (commonly referred to at that time as "brown gold") for commercial use.

The tobacco raised in Virginia at that time, Nicotiana rustica, did not suit European tastes, but Rolfe raised a more popular variety, Nicotiana tabacum, from seeds brought with him from Bermuda. Tobacco was used as currency by the Virginia settlers for years, and Rolfe was able to make his fortune in farming it for export at Varina Farms Plantation.

In Japan

The Japanese were introduced to tobacco by Portuguese sailors.

In Australia

Tobacco smoking first reached Australian shores when it was introduced to northern-dwelling Indigenous communities by visiting Indonesian fishermen in the early 1700s. British patterns of tobacco use were transported to Australia along with the new settlers in 1788; and in the years following colonisation,

British smoking behaviour was rapidly adopted by Indigenous people as well. By the early 1800s tobacco was an essential commodity routinely issued to servants, prisoners and ticket-of-leave men (conditionally released convicts) as an inducement to work, or conversely, withheld as a means of punishment.


Following the American civil war, the tobacco industry struggled as it attempted to adapt. Not only did the labor force change from slavery to sharecropping, but a change in demand also occurred. As in Europe, there was a desire for not only snuff, pipes and cigars, but cigarettes appeared as well.

With a change in demand and a change in labor force, James Bonsack, an avid craftsman, in 1881 created a machine that revolutionized cigarette production. The machine chopped the tobacco, then dropped a certain amount of the tobacco into a long tube of paper, which the machine would then roll and push out the end where it would be sliced by the machine into individual cigarettes. This machine operated at thirteen times the speed of a human cigarette roller.

This caused an enormous growth in the tobacco industry which remained so until the scientific revelations discovered the health consequences of smoking in the mid-20th century.


In order to reduce the potential burden of disease, the World Health Organization(WHO) successfully rallied 168 countries to sign the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in 2003. The Convention is designed to push for effective legislation and its enforcement in all countries to reduce the harmful effects of tobacco.

The History of Tobacco is an ongoing process that is being written still now in 2010 on an almost daily basis.

We will be adding a Smokers "News Daily" soon

There is of a lot more to The History of Tobacco but the mission here at www.QuitSmokingClass.com is For you to Quit - although, it may be good to know your enemies history - Lets move on.

Be a Quit Black Belt
Kick The Habit

Kick the Habit

Be Brave Try It
Even Just One Day
May 31st
Any Day After is
Your Winning Day

Lung Tree

World Health Organisation

Its Your Turn

Have you ever lived with a smoker, what was it like? Share it. You now have a unique chance to tell your story - to the world.

Click Here

Quit Method

Ex-Smokers, the Quit Method page is a great way that you can use The Quit Smoking Class to help other people, Kick the Habit.

Click Here

The following two programs have had good results for some people but are otherwise not associated with Quit Smoking Class. We hope they can be of use.

Inner strength training

Protected by Copyscape Web Copyright Checker