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The Worldwide Ban Of Tobacco Because The Sneezing It Caused Resembled Sexual Pleasure

The Catholic Church once banned the use of tobacco on its property because it was seen as too steamy

Andrew Martin
3 min readMay 27, 2022

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Various forms of tobacco have justifiably faced restrictions and bans as humanity has come to understand more about the health consequences of the plant. There have also been instances where it has been forbidden for other reasons. Perhaps the most unusual was the 1624 edict by Pope Urban VIII, who made tobacco illegal because snuff helped trigger sneezing, which in turn was seen as being too uncomfortably close to sexual pleasure.

In the effort to avoid the pitfalls of sin, the Catholic Church regulated everyday life for years in centuries past. In particular, sexual activity and the various ways such physical pleasure was seen as leading people astray from godliness received close attention. Anything that was seen as promoting sex as beyond the creation of families (even then, it was best to leave that unsaid) was frowned upon to say the least. That’s where an interesting connection to tobacco once came into play.

Tobacco was in the Americas for some time before Europeans carried it back to their own continent. It’s believed that Spanish traders first brought it back around 1559 and…

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Andrew Martin

Dabbler in history, investing & writing. Master’s degree in baseball history. Passionate about history, diversity, culture, sports, film and investing .