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Policies Regulating Tobacco, U.S.

  • By: Victor B. Stolberg & Victor B. Stolberg
  • In: Encyclopedia of Drug Policy
  • Edited by: Mark A. R. Kleiman & James E. Hawdon
  • Subject:Public Policy, Drug Crimes

Not long after the introduction of tobacco from the Americas to Europe there were warning calls to avoid its use. The best known of these early anti-tobacco cries came from King James I of England with his 1604 “counter-blaste.” During the course of the 17th century, both in Europe and in the American colonies, many prohibitory pronouncements and laws were issued. These included papal bans on the use of snuff in churches issued in 1624 and again in 1695, and fines levied for smoking in public, such as were imposed in colonial Connecticut. Nevertheless, tobacco was an important commodity in early America, a major source of tax revenue, and its use in varied forms increased substantially in popularity both here and abroad.

Lucy Page Gaston was ...

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