Tobacco is a very controversial crop. At one point in history, one could see fields full of tobacco for miles in warm climes. Regulations on tobacco farmers were very minimal. However, health warnings greatly slowed down growing tobacco on farms and placed many new rules on its growth.
Tobacco as found in most stores includes cigarette tobacco, chewing tobacco, and smokeless tobacco. However, the tobacco basics from field to store go way beyond the types of tobacco products on the shelf. Before you consider entering the tobacco industry, learn different aspects of tobacco and think about the following facts:
1. Tobacco is a labor-intensive crop grown in fields.
2. Farmers sell tobacco to companies for processing.
3. Stores sell many different types of tobacco on their shelves.
Raising tobacco requires a government allotmentUnlike some other crops, one cannot simply begin raising and selling tobacco. The government controls raising tobacco, and only certain tobacco allotments are available. Owners fulfill them or lease them out to other growers. Many tobacco farmers buy small tobacco plants to transplant to their farm.
Tobacco goes to a tobacco company for processingBefore tobacco is ready to sell, workers must top it in the field. They cut and hang it to dry and strip its leaves. Farmers then bring tobacco leaf bundles to tobacco warehouses where workers grade them. Tobacco companies and tobacco leaf dealers purchase the crop to create tobacco products to sell at stores. Different types of tobacco and different qualities of tobacco create different types of products.
Tobacco distributors sell tobacco to various types of storesThe tobacco travels from the warehouse to the distributor to many different types of stores. Grocery stores, convenience stores, and gift shops often sell various types of tobacco products. Tobacco outlets are stores dedicated to the selling of tobacco and claim to sell tobacco for less than other stores. Such stores have a larger quantity and variety of tobacco in stock. Because of health risks, the government requires stores to verify proof of customer age before selling the tobacco.
Food and Drug Administration.
- Dried tobacco is sticky and strong smelling. Be careful about too much exposure to the crop in its dry state, and be aware of the health of workers. Some tobacco farm workers find that they are allergic to tobacco and develop a rash when in contact with it.