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Tobacconist University
Tobacco College

Tobacco College: Culture, Business, & Politics

 
[In Brief]

1600s: FROM PERSECUTION TO TAXATION

King James I (b.1566-d.1625) mutilated and tortured snuff users and hanged pipe smokers. Pope Urban VIII (b.1568-d.1644), Czar Michael Fedorovitch Romanov (b.1596-d.1645), the Shah of Persia Abbas I (b.1571-d.1629), and Sultan Murad IV of the Ottoman Empire (b.1612-d.1640) were monarchs of great nations which penalized the use of tobacco: first with force and later through taxation.

Persecution
In near Middle Eastern countries, smokers could have their lips and noses cut off. Rodrigo de Jerez, one of Columbus’ crew members, was imprisoned for seven years after being arrested for smoking in public. The Spanish Inquisition had labeled him “demonic” for blowing smoke out of his nose in public.

Taxation
1629: France’s Cardinal Richelieu levies a tax of thirty sols on a pound of tobacco. This trend toward taxation spreads throughout Europe as tobacco usage becomes impossible to stop. France, Russia, England, Prussia, Portugal, and Austria all develop tobacco monopolies before the end of the 17th century.

"Sin" taxation continues today...







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