Nicotiana tabacum was unknown in Europe when Christopher Columbus crossed the Atlantic. There he saw both men and women who ‘drank’ (or inhaled) the smoke of rolls of burning leaves. In the Islands, tobacco cultivation dates at least to 1809, when Archibald Campbell observed ‘smoking tobacco is another luxury of which the natives are very fond.'
Don Francisco de Paula Marin planted tobacco on January 11, 1813. Six years later, the use of tobacco was widespread. Chiefs, as well as their servants would pass a single pipe from one person to another. The Islands grew “four different kinds of tobacco in our field, and as some of them are much better than others”.