When Cristóbal Colón arrived in Cuba in 1492, his navigators discovered men and women with "a lit firebrand in their hand", from which they sucked the smoke, either directly or through a Y-shaped piece placed on the nose.

historia-tabaco-seco2In the second half of the sixteenth century, tobacco acquired an economic status in international trade and in American and European agriculture. Havana became the center of dissemination of Indian tobacco, there being evidence that at that time the sale of public tobacco was already a business in Havana. By the end of that century strong mercantile relations had already been established between the different territories of Spain in the Indies and there was already an inter-American trade in tobacco. In Cuba, tobacco production was monopolized by Spain during the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and had an important participation of immigrants from the Canary Islands.

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The manufacture of cigarettes, meanwhile, began as a cottage industry. For a long time smokers developed their own consumption - porters, soldiers and slaves - they made cigarettes in their free hours and the surplus of their production, they took it in baskets to the places of sale. Subsequently, as production grew, they began to use animal-drawn carts.

In the second half of the 19th century, the first factories were installed, many of them based on successful tobacco companies. The steam engine is introduced, the printed packets begin to be extended and there is a significant performance by Asturian industrialists.

The participation of American and English merchants and companies mark the end of the 19th century.

For more information see article "The history of cigarette in Cuba".