Advert for Sales, Pollard & Co, tobacco manufacturers 6850
Medium: Print on paper
The Mayan civilisations of Central America are thought to have begun smoking and chewing tobacco around 1,000BC. They also applied tobacco leaves to wounds as a means of reducing pain. Europeans discovered tobacco over two millenia later. Sir Walter Raleigh is credited with bringing it back to England in the early 17th century, but Sir John Hawkins and his crew were almost certainly the first Europeans to smoke tobacco, during their journey of 1564. By the 19th century, smoking tobacco or taking it as snuff were popular and fashionable habits.