• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Tobacco is indigenous to the Americas and was unknown to Europeans until the late 16th century. Its use among Native American peoples was widespread by this time; it was consumed largely for medicinal and religious purposes. Successfully grown by early settlers and exported to Europe, the plant (Nicotiana spp., L.) became a crucial crop for the pre-revolutionary American colonies, which relied heavily on slave labor in cultivation and processing.

Today, tobacco is grown in more than 100 countries and most tobacco is used for smoking. Tobacco is an essential ingredient for cigarettes, pipes, cigars, hand-rolling tobacco, bidis, and kretek cigarettes. Cigarettes account for the largest share of manufactured tobacco products in the world—96 percent of total sales. Except for chewing tobacco in India, and possibly kreteks ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles