From Marlboro Man to smoking ban

Seeing that a city in Massachusetts discusses a ban on the vending of all tobacco products, let's remember the past of tobacco in America.

America, tobacco and tobacco products are and always have been inseparably associated.

America's social symbols – from Texas cowboys to New York gangsters – have long been related to smoking.

Still in more recent years America has been in the news not for growing tobacco, but for banning smoking.

So how did the nation of smoke-filled back areas become the area of no-smoking streets, parks?!

Dried Tobacco Leaves

1492: Christopher Columbus comes to the Bahamas, where he saw dried tobacco leaves for the first time. Tobacco leaves were given by local tribes as a symbol of a friendly relationship. Columbus' team identifies Cuban local people smoking tobacco from pipes.

1612: First British settlers in Virginia, considering other plants unprofitable, try out tobacco plants. By 1640 tobacco is by far the most successful foreign trade of the American colonies, with 1,500,000lbs transported from Virginia to England each year.

18th century - prevailing tobacco product: snuff

1776: Tobacco is as a main source of resources – and inspiration – for America's struggle for independence from Britain. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and other important people of the time held big tobacco farms, and had found themselves in severe debt to British tobacco vendors before the war.

19th century - prevalent products: chewing tobacco and cigars

1880s: The earliest restrictions on the use of tobacco come into force in numerous US states. Almost all America's states prohibit the selling of cigarettes to children during the second half of the 19th century.

20th century - leading product: cigarettes

Four Cigarettes

1900s: Four states ban the sale of cigarettes, and the Anti-Cigarette League of America forces for additional bans. Regardless of that fact, 4.4 billion cigarettes are purchased in 1900 only.

1918: A period of American men come back from the First World War hooked on smoking. One American general states that cigarette rations had been as significant to the soldiers as bullets. Tobacco use raises after the war.

1955: CBS airs the first TV news segment alleging connection between smoking and lung cancer. Two years soon after the US Surgeon General publishes a survey tying tobacco to cancer, the first time the US authorities had taken a position on the issue.

1965: Congress approves legislation pushing tobacco companies to place health warning labels on cigarette packs.

Smoking Ban

1970: President Richard Nixon signs a legislation which prohibits cigarette advertising on television and radio.

1975: Minnesota results in being the first US state to prohibit smoking in public places, with the exception of designated spots.

1987: Beverly Hills, California and Aspen, Colorado outlaw smoking in restaurants. A number of cities in the United States follow measure.

1990: Smoking is restricted on local flights across the country.

1993: Incoming President Bill Clinton forbids smoking in the White House.

2007: The Motion Picture Association of America states that the use of tobacco in films will affect parental guidance ratings.

2011: New York City prohibits smoking in public places, including Times Square and Central Park.

2014: The town of Westminster, Massachusetts discusses a measure which would outlaw the sale of all tobacco products.