Tobacco is a plant that is native to North and South America. It is in the same family as the potato and pepper. As early as 1 B.C., American Indians began smoking tobacco in pipes, in religious and medicinal practices.
We have all heard of the "Peace Pipe". Presenting the pipe during battle would halt the fighting amongst native Americans.
On October 15, 1492, Christopher Columbus was offered dried tobacco leaves as a gift from the American Indians that he encountered. Soon after, sailors brought tobacco back to the UK, and the plant was being grown all over Europe.
Many tobacco factories sprung up in the UK with Liverpool being a popular location due to transatlantic ships sailing from the UK to America from Liverpool docks.
Pipe-smoking became popular with troops during the first world war. Troops could smoke their pipes upside down in the trenches and the enemy could not see the burning tobacco.