The Surprising History of Tobacco

Tobacco: It was thought to be a heal-all,
but in reality, a harm-all. The origins of this controversial plant are
in the fields of the Americas, and the most common species, Nicotiana Tabacum, originated
in Mesoamerica, a region in the central part of the Americas. Tobacco usage started among the people of
the Americas, then europeans through exploration, and eventually the vast majority of human
civilization. It has created cities, empires and multimillionaires. Fortunes won, and lives lost through lies,
disease, and exploitation. Tobacco has grown naturally in the Americas
since approximately 6000 BCE, and the Indigenous peoples of this region used tobacco since
roughly 1 BCE. In Indigenous societies, tobacco, likely in
other methods of consumption than smoking, was thought to be a vital medicine, curing
wounds, toothaches, and all other forms of pain and disease. Within these societies, tobacco was also used
for religious and cultural ceremonies. The native peoples of the Americas were not
the only ones to be affected by this plant. Starting in 1492 with the arrival of Christopher
Columbus, europeans were getting acquainted with the miraculous painkiller of the native
peoples. Columbus himself even noted that the native
peoples were using a type of leaf which he claimed caused them to behave drunkenly. That was evidently the effects of tobacco
as the plant was not yet known to europeans. In the mid sixteenth century, over 50 years
following Columbus’ first encounter with tobacco, the europeans who used it, used it as either
a medicine or as a medicinal ingredient as it was believed to cure virtually any major
illness, while they had no intent whatsoever of recreational usage. In 1606, the Virginia Company, a company chartered
by King James I of England, set sail for what was later named Virginia. Starting in 1607, the newly formed colony
attempted to create a profit. They attempted glass making, silk making,
lumber, and various other industries, but none gained any financial success. In 1612, 3 years after boarding a ship to
North America, Englishman John Rolfe brought something that would completely transform
Virginia, and later America: tobacco. Rolfe acquired the tobacco seeds in what is
thought to be either Trinidad or South America, at a time when the Spanish were the only European
nation to have access to the seeds in order to possess a monopoly on the good, and it
was punishable by death to sell tobacco seeds to a non-spaniard. Rolfe planted the seeds in Virginia and his
first crop began the creation of the staple of the British American economy. Unfortunately, the colonists could not continue
this profit streak alone. In 1619, the first African slaves arrived
in what is the present day United States in Jamestown, Virginia, the oldest European settlement
in Virginia, and named after King James I who had funded the Virginia Company. The slaves were used to work in the fields
under harsh conditions to keep up with demand from British sponsors and the British Empire,
and the colonies would have likely not been as successful without them. Gold and silver became scarce in Jamestown,
therefore tobacco was used as a supplementary currency for decades, and a man’s wealth was
said to be measured in annual pounds of tobacco, and all fines and transactions were completed
in, you guessed it, pounds of tobacco. There was an instance in 1660, when such a
large quantity of tobacco was being produced, much of it poor quality, that there was an
instance of inflation as tobacco was the local currency, and the colony barely survived. Due to the heavy dependence on tobacco exportation,
Virginia, Maryland, and North Carolina gained the title, ‘The Tobacco Colonies’. Tobacco continued to be smoked in the Americas,
and in Europe for centuries undisturbed, but starting in 1826 with the conclusion from
scientists that nicotine is a dangerous poison, a number of individuals concluded tobacco
and tobacco products were dangerous and poisonous. In the late 1800’s, the majority of tobacco
produced was used for chewing tobacco due to the frontiersmen era of the American West,
and cigarettes were made from the leftover scraps from the chewing tobacco production. At this time, cigars and cigarettes were luxuries
and were hand-rolled, but in 1881, American James Bonsack invented the cigarette rolling
machine which resulted in the general public gaining access to what was once a luxury. Cigarettes being available to everyone made
cigarettes the number one tobacco product in terms of production, and created a societal
standard for the next number of decades. The First World War further popularized the
cigarette, calling it ‘soldier’s smoke’, and in World War 2, cigarettes were part of society
to such a great extent, that they were included as a part of each soldier’s rations. Starting in the early 20th century, various
anti-tobacco campaigns arose, but none got to be serious until the German anti-smoking
campaign beginning in the 1930s lasting until the 1940s, Funded by the Nazi Party, German
doctors were the first to establish a link between smoking and lung cancer. The campaign banned smoking in all public
transport vehicles, and promoting health education in schools. In the 1950s, Anglo-American researchers,
further confirmed the same results the Germans had gotten a decade earlier. The 1960s was when most of the health hazards
of cigarettes and other tobacco products were reported to the public; although denied by
the tobacco companies, and when governmental regulations began to take place. Great Britain banned tobacco advertising on
television in 1965, and the U.S. followed in 1971. In the 1980s, smoking was banned in many public
places, various lawsuits were filed against the tobacco companies, including a master
settlement against the four largest companies to help pay for health care needed caused
by the toxins in tobacco products. Evidence concludes that tobacco companies
knew about the harmful effects of their products for decades, but continued to deny them and
attempt to falsify the health reports through methods such as claiming doctors smoked their
brand of cigarette because it was healthy, and marketing techniques such as candy cigarettes. What a candy cigarette is, is a candy shaped
like a cigarette designed under the same brand name as the actual cigarette, but for children. Thus, when the children grow up, they will
be more likely to purchase the same brand of cigarette as they ate as candy as children,
although such techniques have now been banned in many countries. With relatively recent studies, doctors have
concluded that smoking can be harmful to every part of the human body, although lung disease
is the most common by a long shot. Tobacco usage, more specifically smoking,
is the number one preventable cause of death worldwide, killing 5 million people per year. There are over 4 thousand added chemicals
to cigarettes, with at least of 43 of them are known to cause cancer. Using tobacco can also alter your DNA through
a process called methylation. In methylation, genes can be modified to a
point where they are unable to control human disease, thus increasing the chances of cancer. A study was done out of 15000 people, and
the average smoker had approximately 2500 changes to their DNA, some of them permanent,
thus someone who has quit smoking still has a higher chance of diseases such as cancer,
than those who have never smoked at all. Government and corporate precautions have
banned tobacco advertising in movies, on television, in magazines, on billboards, and on the majority
of the internet, with Google and Microsoft barring all tobacco products from being advertised
on their ad services. In their place, various government sponsored
anti-tobacco ads, warning of health problems caused by tobacco, have appeared. Most first world countries and some U.S. States,
have banned tobacco in restaurants, bars, and workplaces. Keep in mind the correlation between smoking
bans and fairly liberal states. Tobacco is also almost universally banned
on passenger flights worldwide. In 2004, Bhutan completely banned tobacco
cultivation and usage, although some personal allowances are permitted if the person pays
import fees, while in 2016, Turkmenistan enacted a total ban on the product. The Pitcairn Islands, with a population of
57 imposed a ban of anyone other than the government store selling tobacco products. All things considered, tobacco has a rich
history which formed the world we live in today, although tobacco usage is unconditionally
a disgusting habit.

Comments 99

  • Germans may not like tabaco but they sure love meth

  • Probably dying from my habit, the poor are drawn into a tax upon their health and finances while others make millions off of their misery, and there's not much to stop it considering their intense dependence upon the money from tobacco sales, it's a voluntary tyranny based upon lies and deceit, i suggest nobody to begin smoking, and for some it's too late to undo what's been done, but stopping is still better than to continue a pointless march to suicide

  • Lol so if you believe smoking causes cancer you’re a nazi ???????????

  • The sheer amount of smoke-excusers here is frightening… ?

  • It's not the nicotine that's harmful. That's just the addictive part. It's all that other junk they add and the chemicals and tar from combustion.

  • What's with the poor bastard being thrown off the cliff at 00m:50s?

  • Trust so-called libertarian Texas to be the state that allows smokers to poison innocent bystanders with impunity. Same policy as they have on gun-control really….

  • this video made me want a cigarette

  • Smoking is bad, but ur simply wrong sugar is 1, alcohol 2 and tobacco 3 illegal drugs 4th. U can look that up any modern country health stats

  • I like that aspect of the bootstraps… America's all about civil liberties… concerning modern cigarettes not many brands utilize really nice tobacco.

  • I have never smoked a single cig in my life. My dad smoked and several of my friends did also. All my brothers and sisters (5) have smoked and some still do.

  • "qUiT sMoKiNg oR YoU'Ll gEt CaNcEr" rather die of lung cancer then to be crapping myself in a wheelchair not being able to do anything I enjoy

  • Its not surprising that the nazis were the first to ban smoking ie something pleasurable. Nazis love banning things and telling people how to live their lives. Its what nazis do

  • “Liberal states”? Now, that is ridiculous. Banning stuff and state control of individual choices are the opposite of the actual meaning of the word ‘liberal’. Self-identifying “liberals” want to control everything. Maybe that’s why the so-called “conservatives” in the US are suspicious of the intentions of Public/National health. You blame them? I blame you.

  • I'm burning a joint started watching Geroge Carlin and World cup Football goals and somehow I ended up here ??

  • 1:37 wait . . . THATS A WEED

  • That graph depicting state laws was a bit misleading. I live in Tennessee and though there may not be a state-wide ban on smoking in certain areas, most private businesses will restrict it. You really only see people smoking indoors in certain bars and in lounges.

  • The demon Nicotine. It's a TRAP.

  • Honestly the more anti-smoking commercials I see the more I think they are designed by smoking companies to get people to hate anti-smoking truths.

  • Haha boring. Smoked 2 cigarettes while watching this

  • “Is unconditionally a disgusting habbit” good to know that you arent one of those history channels that let their personal opinions through…

  • You mean weed lol

  • Eating dogshit. Now that's a disgusting habit.

  • 2:39 xvideos?

  • I quit smoking for for snuff and I felt a million times better after just 2 or 3 days. I was still getting the nicotine that caused the crippling addition in the first place (which I know still isn’t good for me) but I wasn’t harming my lungs.

  • nothing wrong with tobacco. its all that bullchit government regulations force them to put in it from all the anti smoking nazies bitching and moaning

  • Mormons were like 150 years ahead of the FDA lucky people

  • Hitler was anti tobacco? I shall quote Norm Macdonald "Hitler was a REAL JERK !!! "

  • I noticed your video states that the chemicals ADDED to cigarettes are what cause cancer, not the tobacco itself. Many of those chemicals, used for the purposes of preserving the tobacco, have been used since the tobacco industry became industrialized. Even alcohol is deadly in extreme quantities, yet it has useful, medicinal (and even recreational) qualities. So long as it is used in moderation. Its rather backwards for people in this modern age to say its okay to enact prohibition laws against tobacco yet just a few generations ago we realized that alcohol prohibition was not only wrong but ill-advised. The same concepts all apply to marijuana as well, even if it is less harmful if not harmful at all (when smoked) in comparison to tobacco. Prohibition is wrong, period.

  • In Indian Himalayan villages people (men/women) smoke very heavily and live a long healthy life. Because they work hard and inhale fresh air

  • I love candy cigs

  • Tradicional use of tobacco is a medicine. By tobacco purges ceremony’s , investigators have treated cigarette addiction very effectively.
    The problems is not the plant, is the abuse of it. I recomend you the work pf Terrance Mc ena about plants and prohibition.

  • smokes Cuban cigar watching this…

  • 1:45 This is shit! I'm out


  • I’m glad that I live in South Carolina. Our government doesn’t ban smoking indoors. Most places still won’t let you smoke, which is fine by me because I support freedom for people do do what they want with their businesses. It shouldn’t be wrong for someone to want to allow smoking in their bar or restaurant.

  • It is a heal all. It kills us before we can get sick or worry about other stuff

  • I thought the first cigarettes were made from cigar ends

  • Only cowards use “BCE”

  • it was made by God as a curse

  • I smoke a cartoon of them a week because I'm afraid of the suffering that comes with old age

  • when can we sue big oil? they use the same tactics of denial,and in many cases use the same law firms.
    I can choose not to smoke,but try not to breath mercury and lead from exhausts,to say the least about the effects to public health,not to mention the general destruction of our environment.

  • Smoking has help me a lot, whenever I’m stressed or exhausted. But still I’m not addicted to it. Plus I only smoke when I’m alone.

  • 1826 had scientists????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? wtf??????????? 40's and 50's had evidence, but wtf could they have in 1826??? they were still busy working on the "hysteria alleviating device" (sex toys)

  • Lmao “approximately 1 BC”

  • do a vid on marijuana!

  • do a vid on marijuana!

  • 1st half of vid is ok (but nothing surprising), then the vid turns into the sort of anti smoking campaign they'd show at school.

    I came for history not to be preached to by some slack jawed faggot

  • its fucken shit

  • Totally an unfair documentry. Lets have a smoke everybody in the name of ending them for anti-smokers ?

  • tobacco is good for you and a gift from god

  • I dip and smoke. and i might be getting a juul….

  • bee-balm-lemon-mint- white-marsh-mallow marshmallow-mix-nicotiana-mutabilis licorice-mint-agastache purple-anise-hyssop licorice-mint tree-tobacco-nicotiana-glauca gardeing plan database reader frequency

  • i was hoping for a neutral opinion about the tabbacco’s history

  • Smoking is a vile and disgusting habit. Why would anyone purposefully inhale smoke into their lungs? To do what? Substance use is choice. You don't have to do it. I don't want to inhale your choice. Smokers should have their own island so they can keep that shit to themselves.

  • lights cigarette in a public place people shriek with horror as i glance around and say, “hey you know who started anti smoking campaigns… the nazis” *people shriek with more horror, but an old lady in the back asks for a cigarette and says, “USA!” (a joke)

  • Dr. Klein, of St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, says that‘ direct experiment proves that tobacco-smoke has a decided germicidal effect ; it is not known, however, which is the active principle in the tobacco-smoke.’ He also remarks that the popular idtea which has again sprung up of tobacco’s prophylactic powers, ‘is well supported by laboratory experiment.’ Dr. Tassinari, adopting the microscopical methods of Pasteur, illustrates his investigations into the subject and the results obuined by a seriesof charts. These results may be briefly summarised. He found that the smoke of tobacco in some cases entirely destroyed, in others retarded the development of, microorganisms. For example, the bacilli of Asiatic cholera and pneumonia were in every instance destroyed by the smoke of tobacco irrespective of the kind or quality of the tobacco used.

    Tobacco – Smokin’ the Propaganda.

  • I've had to deal with the effects of smokers for years. The trash both physically and mentally is one part……
    This drug addiction is the only one left still 'accepted' in the work place. I've spent years filling in for smokers.

  • All the Pitcairn Islanders are fucking nonces

  • this is not a history of tobacco, rather one more health litany….. therefore thumbs down not because it is unhealthy but because video title is totally misleading

  • Cigarettes started from using chewing tobacco "scraps"? Bullcrap. There is no such thing. It started very early in Europe, when peasants would collect cigar butts and break them up and roll them for their own consumption.

  • Just because you smoke doesn’t mean those of us who do are monsters

  • the only good thing that nazis have made

    Anti-Smoking campaign

  • The real problem with tabacco is that you overuse it. Take a weedpipe and actually smoke tabacco thru it. You will not dare to touch it again.
    I like to do that instead of casual smökers.

  • Europeans made it to a nasty habit

  • How bad tobacco is for you really depends on how you consume it. Pipes and cigars really aren't that bad, as long as you don't inhale them.

  • You said that nicotine is the poisonous substance in tabacco but its the tar and other gases and sorry if I misspelled some thing.

  • why does the thumbnail look like the person is sparking up a joint

  • there are 600 ingredients in cigarettes one of them is rat poison. A white man name james invented cigarettes

  • Everyone should smoke. I wish more people everywhere smoked.

    More weed for me.

  • Tobacco heals people. The studies I've seen said if you smoke natural tobacco and inhale you will live longer than someone who doesn't smoke. The people in the old days were 100% correct and now the health companies and pharmacys put a smear campaign out to get rid of it. I've never seen anyone die from smoking tobacco.

  • I quit listening after he lied about Jamestown being the first european settlement in north america, I don't smoke but if he'll lie about that….well

  • Thank God for Juul

  • "Although tobacco usage is unconditionally a disgusting habit"

    WOW where did that come from? It was supposed to be a video about the history of tobacco and yes it was very well done and informative but that last comment was unnecessary as you state something that is clearly a personal opinion.

  • What fool.

  • This video sounds like a 9th grader wrote it

  • Native Americans contributed the hell along with the Europeans. ?

  • Tobacco kills, and Depression kills more

  • Ehhhhhhhhhhhhh……..You only live life once. Smokem if you got em!

  • It was healthy until big cigarette companies shitted in it with other chemicals to make people addicted to it.

  • No advertising allowed, but many movies still show people smoking, which is a promotion for it. My parents and other adults in my family have died from it.

  • it will kill you in the end

  • I already heard it was supposed to be your Injun Gunpowder.

  • Alot of your info is wrong

  • Excellent!! Now where's the sermon about illegal narcotic abuse, including cannibis? When was the lasttime you saw a 10 ten year old girl sell her body for a cigarette? Same thing for armed robbery, chosen homelessness, drug violence, wanton deprived minded murder, etc etc…

  • By declaring it harmful to your health, they have an excuse to tax it to the max.

  • 100,00CB

  • Tobacco is a drug. Its no different then alcohol, coffee, cannabis, etc. People just need to know that everything should be used in moderation. Its different for each substance, as an adult you should be able to make a decision whether its worth the risk or not. Remember 5 cups of coffee doesn't harm you, but 10 most defiantly can. 1 cigar a week won't harm you but a pack of cigarettes everyday most defiantly will. One drink a night won't harm you but 2-5 or more most defiantly will.

  • from South Park

  • Tobacco originated in Peru.

  • The video was fascinating and informative until you let your bias appear at the very end. Down vote for last second bad journalism.

  • Sooo libtards states ban smoking just like the nazis did. So that means according to libtard logic libtards = nazis. Got it thx.

  • hits JUUL

  • 0:49 wtf is that?

  • Moderately interesting but suspected it's filled with misinformation and the personal opinion at the end killed it for me.

  • So the Nazi's actually did a good thing…??

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