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History of Tobacco Prevention in Texas

Module 1:

A Look into the Past

It’s important for us to appreciate where we come from and how that history has shaped us in ways we may not understand.

– Sonia Sotomayor

The history of tobacco and prevention efforts in Texas is long. It dates back to before the arrival of Spaniards to Texas in 1692, when tobacco grew as a natural plant and was gathered by Native Indians.


Almost 200 years later, early Texans grew the plant for personal consumption and began selling tobacco as a product in the 1890’s. Production began in Montgomery County, north of Houston, and spread to East Texas, but declined in the early 1900’s when cotton became more valuable than tobacco. Today, tobacco is not grown in Texas.


At the same time that tobacco production and usage increased in the state and nation, numerous prevention and control efforts were established.


Watch the History of Tobacco Prevention in Texas to learn how our state began its prevention efforts.

The notes worksheet below can be downloaded and used while watching the video.

Module 1: Notes Worksheet
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Say What! EST. 2011

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Mailing Address

Texas School Safety Center

ATTN: Say What Program

Texas State University

601 University Drive

San Marcos, TX 78666

Say What! was created and designed by young people from across Texas and connects students interested in eliminating tobacco from their schools and communities. The Say What! movement is funded by the Texas Department of State Health Services through a contract with the

Texas School Safety Center at Texas State University.