No-one recognized the trade at the time. The Europeans gave North Americans smallpox; gunpowder and tobacco went the other way, cigarros, specifically.
We have come to see that it was a mutual death sentence – one in short order, one that killed many more over the centuries. As they say over at Zero Hedge, on a long enough timeline, our chance of survival is zero.
A scene in The Borgias captures the moment beautifully. Juan, Rodrigo’s second son returned from his adventure across the Atlantic with a box of cigarros for his father.
What is it? is it a turd? the appalled Pope demands.
Juan demonstrates how to toast and light the rolled tobacco delight, immediately hooking His Holiness. Jeremy Irons must have been ecstatic at the idea of smoking on set: he had to. It was now part of his character.
Unlit, they smell delicious. Cigarros are the male potpourri.