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Interesting Smoking Trivia– Discover the Smoking Roots!

  • Tobacco was used by the South American people as early as 2,000 years ago. The Brazilian invented cigarettes as they rolled tobacco leaves in paper.
  • Sailors were the first Europeans to start using tobacco leaves.
  • Christopher Columbus, the renowned world explorer, gifted tobacco leaves to Queen Isabella of Spain.
  • Many believed that tobacco leaves had medicinal effects. In 1559, Jean Nicot, a French ambassador was the first person to bring tobacco plants to Portugal. He told his friends that tobacco was useful in treating cancer, asthma and wounds.
  • The words nicotina and nicotine are actually derived from Jean Nicot’s surname.
  • Tobacco was known as herba panacea in ancient times. It meant ‘cure-all herb’. A few had the opinion that smoking purged the lungs.
  • During the 1600s, many countries banned the use of tobacco. At that time, tobacco users were killed or tortured in Turkey. A person caught using tobacco could have been beheaded in China. In Russia, if a person was caught using tobacco twice, he/she was sentenced to death.
  • Tobacco was an integral part of the American colonies and Spain. It was one of the major crops and was so valuable that it became equivalent to money. In every square of the soil, people grew tobacco plants in Virginia. Such was the rave that a law had to be passed by the Virginia Company, which required farmers to grow food crops also.
  • The most preferred and popular way to use tobacco was smoking pipe till the 1700’s. Although, aficionados started chewing tobacco leaves or using dry snuff instead.
  • Cigarettes slowly became more fashionable and created frenzy among tobacco users. Although, these were very expensive as they were rolled by hand.
  • The first review, which linked smoking to specific disease, was published in 1859.
  • Two famous and ingenious personalities, Henry Ford and Thomas Edison declared that tobacco use should be outlawed.
  • Post the World War I, few tobacco companies came together and denied the fact that tobacco can cause any adverse effects.
  • During the 1920s, the creators of ‘Lucky Strike Cigarettes’ tried to draw female attention by using a slogan “Reach for a Lucky instead of a Sweet”. This targeted those women who were careful about their weight.
  • During the World War I and II, American soldiers were allotted cigarettes as it was a part of their regular rations.

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