Tobacco has been consumed for thousands of years by natives of the Americas. Smoked, chewed, liquefied and drunk, tobacco was used from the depths of the Yucatan jungles to the fields of Virginia. The introduction of the Europeans to this strange weed that soothed their nerves and that, by George, they just could not stop smoking, grew into a major source of income for English colonies.
The English colony of Virginia soon dominated the tobacco industry in the New World, providing England and much of Europe with its supply. But tobacco's appeal was far from universal - the English King James I refused to allow people to smoke it in his presence, referring to it as a "noxious weede."