Smokers World – The History of Tobacco

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Smoking causes 8.7 million premature deaths worldwide each year. These deaths are caused by direct smoking and by secondhand smoke. These estimates are provided by IHME in their annual Global Burden of Disease Study.

History of Tobacco

When Christopher Columbus discovered tobacco in 1492, it was already a major part of Native American culture. They smoked it in pipes, chewed it, and used snuff. It was a crucial part of their ceremonial life. It was used for religious and social purposes as well as to increase their sex drive.

Once introduced to Europe, it spread rapidly along trade routes. By the 16th Century, Catherine de Medici was smoking and snuffing tobacco to treat her migraine headaches. It became a popular practice in her court and soon spread throughout France, Portugal and Spain.

Cigarettes became the primary form of tobacco consumption after the Civil War and the invention of the cigarette-rolling machine sponsored by tobacco baron James Buchanan “Buck” Duke. By the 1920s, cigarette smoking was mainstream and a major cultural phenomenon.


Tobacco is thought to have originated in Mesoamerica. It was discovered by the Maya and other indigenous tribes of Central America, who used it in religious ceremonies. They cultivated it, and later traded it with other nations in the region. After Christopher Columbus introduced tobacco to the West, it quickly became a popular smoking commodity in Europe.

By the 20th century, the health risks associated with smoking were widely recognised – although it took time for governments to take action. By combining positive health messages, medical assistance for smokers to quit and effective marketing restrictions, the global burden of tobacco-attributable disease has been reduced. However, over 80% of current users live in low- and middle-income countries, where the burden is highest. These countries are also most vulnerable to the economic costs of tobacco, which divert household spending away from food and other essentials.


Many traditions and cultures use tobacco for different purposes. These include shamanic rituals, such as the indigenous shamans of South America, who smoked tobacco to attract good spirits and repel bad ones, as well as healing ceremonies in which the plant is used to cure diseases, including skin parasites.

The effects of tobacco on the human energetic body are not to be compared with those of modern psychoactive drugs, which are used for escapism, self-excitation or to generate ideas and creativity. Ingestion of these substances leads to depersonalization, disconnection from reality and a heightened sense of weakness.

On the other hand, tobacco, when used properly, nourishes the more dense dimensions of the human energetic body (matter and water), then gradually assimilates the lighter or ethereal dimensions, the spirit and the intuition.

Health Concerns

Over 1.3 billion people worldwide smoke cigarettes. Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body and increases risk for heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, and cancer. It also causes poor blood flow to the legs and arms, which can lead to problems such as ulcers that don’t heal.

According to the Global Burden of Disease study from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, over 8 million people die prematurely each year due to tobacco. This includes around 7 million deaths from direct smoking and 1.2 million from exposure to second-hand smoke. The good news is that tobacco use is declining in high-income countries. This is largely due to policies such as taxing cigarettes, bans on advertising, and methods like counseling that help smokers quit.


Tobacco use is legal in some countries, while other nations have banned the sale of tobacco products. Most states have laws that prohibit the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products to people under a certain age, and it is illegal to smoke tobacco or vape in public places.

Retailers must register with their state and pay taxes on their sales of tobacco products and e-cigarettes. Some states require retailers to display warning signs. Others regulate cigarette advertisements and limit the number of tobacco and e-cigarette stores in urban areas. In addition, the FDA has a free mobile phone application that helps retailers calculate if a customer is old enough to purchase cigarettes.

McGoldrick suggests innovative laws that might reduce underage tobacco use, such as minimum price laws on cigarettes. These laws would increase the price of tobacco and overcome discounting by companies that reduces the amount of taxes collected.