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When the Europeans discovered America, the indigenous had already been using tobacco leaves for many years. Their "shamans" inhaled the smoke through their mouths using a long tube, when they wanted to diagnose the results of some business. For a long time it was given the name "petún", as the indigenous from Brazil and La Florida called it. In Paraguay, it was called "pety".


The Spaniard Juan Ponce de León, companion of Columbus in his second trip to America (1496), brought the seeds of this plant to Portugal upon his return. It is said that Hernán Cortés sent seeds to Carlos V and the Spaniards Hernández de Oviedo and Valdes made the first description of the tobacco plant in their "Natural History of the Indies" (1535). Subsequently, a large number of Spanish, Portuguese, French, English and Dutch travelers gave information about the tobacco and the custom of smoking it "through determinate contraptions in the shape of rolled up leaves or with tubes similar to a pipe" in the Antilles, Mexico, Brazil, La Florida and Virginia. In 1502 Fray Bartolomé de las Casas first called the plant "tobacco", where it obtained its current name.


Tobacco did not become popular in Europe until the French Ambassador to Portugal, Monsieur Nicot, sent it to France in 1561, showing its uses to the gran prior Francisco de Lorena and the Queen Catalina de Médicis, where the names hierba del prior, hierba de la reina, and nicotine came about.


In England it was the famous Sir Francis Drake who made the leaf known, taking it from Lisbon to Italy to the cardinal Próspero de Santa Croce in the first third of the XVI century. In Germany, its use began with the Spanish troops located in country during the time of Carlos V.


Through time, people tested and improved upon the different ways of rolling and smoking tobacco and different varieties of tobacco, cigars and cigarettes were appearing until the age of the industrial revolution in the end of the XVIII century. At this point the production and processing of tobacco was industrialized, arriving at what we know today as the derivatives of cigars, cigarettes and little cigars that are massively consumed all over the world, constantly improving in quality, even in the genetics of the tobacco leaves themselves.