Association Européenne pour la Recherche et l’Expérimentation Tabacole

European Association for Tobacco Research and Experimentation

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A bit of history

Tobacco originates in America, 3000 years ago.


Tobacco and indians, Musée du tabac de BergeracIndians began to roll tobacco leaves to obtain sort of large cigars that they were calling "tabaco". They were also smoking a mix of several herbs, including tobacco in their pipes. At the same period, as tobacco was unknown in Europe, Romans and Greek people, who were also smoking the pipe, were using other vegetable leaves, such as pear-tree leaves.

Before the discovery of the Americas, tobacco was essentially a sacred and curative plant, used for spiritual purposes, in order to communicate with the Spirits and to appease sufferings.

In 1492, during his expedition in the Americas, Christopher Colombus discovered tobacco in Cuba. He brought it back to Europe, to the Portuguese and Spanish Royal Courts, where it has been used, for a long time, as a mere ornamental plant. It is only in the middle of the 16 century, that the personal doctor of the Spanish King Philip II promoted it as a “universal medicine”.


Jean Nicot, Musée du Tabac de Bergerac


In 1560, Jean Nicot was the Ambassador in Portugal of the French King François II. He sent some tobacco powder to the Queen Catherine de Medicis, in order to cure the terrible migraines of her son, François II. The course has been a success and tobacco became “l’herbe à la Reine” (the Queen’s herb), which selling in powder was reserved to apothicaries. In the honour of Jean Nicot, the plant was named nicotiana.


translated from ANITTA's website \Connaître le tabac\Histoire du tabac\Les débuts du tabac

Association Européenne pour la Recherche et l'expérimentation Tabacole

European Association for Tobacco Research and Experimentation

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