Tobacco has been a large industry ever since it was brought to Europe centuries ago. The American plant took off in popularity, becoming a commonly used product worldwide to be smoked and chewed. One of the primary factors causing tobacco consumption is the addictive nicotine found inside. Smoking continued to rise in popularity until its peak in 1963, where roughly 11 cigarettes were purchased per person per day in the United States. Other countries appeared to have a slightly later peak in popularity for smoking. In 1972, Switzerland approached its peak, resulting in Swiss smoking temporarily surpassing the rates of the U.S. Other countries, such as Germany and Japan, also experienced their highest rates in the 1970s. The United States and Switzerland had significant declines in sales after their peaks, though many other countries did not experience these rapid declines in cigarette sales until the early 2000s. Nowadays, many countries that have the highest rates of smoking tend to be in Europe, such as France, Germany, and Greece.