Tobacco (nicotiana tobaccum) most certainly originated in central and south Americas and the Caribbean. Christopher Columbus in 1492 sailed into Cuba’s Haia de Gibara looking for gold but found Indians who “smoked like chimneys”. Rodrigo de Jerez who was with Columbus was the first European to smoke a role of tobacco from a cornhusk pipe. Upon his return to Spain he was jailed for smoking as it was considered sinful, but smoking became popular in Spain within a few years as it did elsewhere. Britain occupied Cuba in 1763 and began importing Cuban Cigars to Europe. Today “Havana cigars” are still reputed to be the best in the World.
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