Most historians believe tobacco originated in America, where it was grown by the indigenous tribes, both in South and North America. A very reasonable hypothesis has it that the plant was first grown in the eastern valleys of the Bolivian Andes, and was brought to Brazil by migrating indigenous tribes, particularly Tupi-Guarany Indians.
In November 1942, Christopher Columbus saw for the first time Indians smoking. According to historians, in 1530, tobacco plants are supposed to have been taken to Europe, and the Royal Family in Portugal started the first plantations for ornamental and medical purposes.
In 1560, Jean Nicot, then French Ambassador in Portugal, upon learning that the plant was a good cure for migraine, sent it to Queen Catherina de Médicis in Paris, who suffered from this ailment. It is believed that the queen acquired the habit of smoking, and was immediately followed by the nobles of the court, from where it spread throughout other European countries, giving origin to powdered tobacco, also referred to as sniff tobacco.
In just one century it came to be known and used in the entire world, expanding in two manners: the first, through sailors and soldiers, as tobacco was a good pastime during the long voyages; the second, through Portuguese expeditions carrying the plant across Portugal and then France and then cross other European, African and Asian countries.