The history of the cigarette begins with the discovery of America, even if it is controversial today that Christopher Columbus was the first seafarer to reach “the new world”.
On October 12, 1492, Columbus landed on San Salvador – which was called Guanahani by the indigenous people; from there he reached the island of Juana on October 17, 1492, which we now know as Cuba.
There, the seafarers observed the natives doing something incomprehensible to them:
‘… They carry a glowing piece of coal and herbs in their hands and inhale the scents with the help of’ catapults ‘, which they call tabacos in their language.’ The natives called her Herb Cohiba – today the Cohiba is one of the most famous Cuban cigars.
The Indians used a tube shaped like a Y – the ‘catapult’ – inserted the two ends of the fork into their nostrils and the other end into the inflamed herb. And then they took a deep breath.
Pipes were used to enjoy tobacco in the early days, later various forms of cigars developed and then the forms of cigarette known to us today.
The Chinese also knew the pipe for smoking early on – by the way, they didn’t smoke tobacco, but pure herbal mixtures.
In Central and South America practically all ethnic groups have been smoking for centuries. In the early days, the enjoyment of tobacco was initially reserved for the priests – the smoke was intended to make contact with the gods.
Later the tribal chiefs started smoking on special occasions.
And in early Mexico, priests and medicine men carried a tobacco pouch in their belts as a symbol of their office; some had servants in their wake, the only job of which was to maintain the ‘smoke pipe’.
Even later, smoking prevailed among the common people – people found that tobacco consumption dampened feelings of hunger and increased physical resistance. Back then, tobacco was always mixed with herbs, some of which had obviously healing properties or caused hallucinations.
Cigar box (Wikipedia)
According to the latest findings, the word cigar is not derived from the Spanish word cigale (cigaral), but from the language of the ancient Maya. The Popol Vuh , the chronicle of the Quichése tribe, calls the cigar Jiq or Ciq, the Spanish cigarro is derived from the Ciq-Sigan of the Maya. However, this form prevailed until much later: In the writings Labats in 1700 can be found cigales , the New English Dictionary in 1735 Seegar , and finally to various sources cigare, cigarro and other forms; there was still disagreement in the 19th century, after all, in the 1833 edition of the Brockhaus Encyclopedia, the forms becamecigale, segares , cigars specified.
In European society, smoking quickly became a fad that became so rampant in the 16th and 17th centuries that, for example, draconian penalties for tobacco use were imposed in Russia and Turkey: smokers met excommunication, exile or even that Death penalty.
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