The history of tobacco in Europe

ANDRZEJ GRZYBOWSKI

Abstract

The history of tobacco smoking is related to the discovery of America, although tobacco and its use have much longer tradition. Tobacco, a plant unknown in the Mediterranean civilization, has made a world-wide career in the social and economic areas for 500 years. The huge profit from the cultivation of tobacco, based also on the ruthless exploitation of black slaves brought from Africa, founded the wealth of the USA, England, Spain and Portugal. On the other hand, the demand for tobacco was the function of unreasonable beliefs in its therapeutic properties, religious prejudices, fashions and social rituals, and most of all by gradually increasing tobacco addiction.
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