More than 94% of the tobacco produced in the United States is used in the manufacture of cigarettes. Consequently, U.S. cigarette manufacturers are the primary domestic users of U.S.-grown tobacco. The major cigarette tobaccos are flue-cured (grown primarily in North Carolina and neighboring regions) and burley(grown primarily in Kentucky and neighboring regions).
Maryland-type tobacco (grown in Maryland and Pennsylvania) also is used in cigarettes, but in relatively small amounts. Some imported tobaccos also are used by U.S. cigarette manufacturers. Oriental tobaccos, added for purposes of flavor and aroma, are a traditional component of mild
American-style cigarettes. Oriental tobaccos are not grown in the United States but are imported primarily from Turkey. In addition,
cigarette manufactures have increasingly used less expensive imported flue-cured and burley tobacco from South America, Africa, and Asia. U.S. cigarette production increased at a nearly steady rate from 1950 through the peak year of 1996, when output reached 754.5 billion cigarettes.
Year 2002 production of 565 billion cigarettes is up slightly from the previous year’s dramatic low and is substantially below the long-term trend. Will cigarette production increase in future years? Or, will it decline even further? Examination of data on domestic cigarette consumption and cigarette exports may suggest answers to these questions.