TOBACCO is a plant native to the Americas and historically one of the half-dozen most important crops grown by American farmers. More specifically, tobacco refers to any of various plants of the genus Nicotiana, (especially N. tabacum) native to tropical America and widely cultivated for their leaves, which are dried and processed chiefly for smoking in pipes, cigarettes, and cigars; it is also cut to form chewing tobacco or ground to make snuff or dipping tobacco, as well as other less common preparations. Tobacco is an agricultural commodity product, similar in economic terms to agricultural foodstuffs: the price is in part determined by crop yields, which vary depending on local weather conditions. The price also varies by specific species grown, the total quantity on the market ready for sale, the area where it was grown, the health of the plants, and other characteristics individual to product quality CHRONOLOGICAL FACTS
Christopher Columbus and his crew returned to Europe from the Americas with the first tobacco leaves and seeds ever seen on the continent. A crew member, Rodrigo de Jerez, was seen smoking and imprisoned by the Inquisition, which believed he was possessed by the devil. Early 1500s
Middle East, Tobacco introduced when the Turks took it to Egypt. 1530–1600
China, Tobacco introduced via Japan or the Philippines.
Europe, Tobacco plant brought to Europe. Attempts at cultivation failed. 1560
Africa, Portuguese and Spanish traders introduced tobacco to Africa. 1592–1598
Korea, The Japanese Army introduced tobacco into Korea.
India, Tobacco first introduced.
Japan Use of tobacco well-established
South Africa European settlers grew tobacco and used it as a form of currency. 1700s
Africa/Americas African slaves forced to work in tobacco fields 1833
UK, Phosphorus friction matches introduced on a commercial scale, making smoking more...