The banning of Tobacco in Europe

Once the tobacco was discovered, it was taken to the Spanish court. It was called "common grass”, "pestiferous and unsweetened poison”, "stinking” among other insults.

More than one state of the continent imposed the public burning of tobacco for considering a "harmful grass” and announced severe measures for tobacco growers and tobacconists who did not fulfill what was declared. Exile, whipping, confiscation of goods, prison an even cutting of noses and ears of smokers, a measure imposed by Amurates, sultan of Turkey in 1622, were among others penalties that kings, Popes and Christ and Mohammed priests imposed to their subjects and faithful people.

Tobacco in EuropeThe overseas products were all considered despicable excepting gold. In 1624, for example, Pope Urbano VIII, given the favourable reception of the American product that made smokers of both sexes to enjoy it in the streets or inside temples or churches, sentenced that those who use it in any of its forms would be excommunicated.

There are many anecdotes that show how tobacco phobia took control of European and Eastern courts during the 16th Century. However, the uncontrollable habit that began spreading among citizens and the possibility of profit motive that undoubtedly tobacco represented, made to change the situation.

The 17th Century marked the official opening of the tobacco production in Cuba.