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Tobacco Industry: Sources of Historical Research

Research the Industry

This page is primarily for those who want to study the current state of the tobacco industry. The resources can also be used to look at the industry's history as well, since the United States government has long published relevant industry information. Some government publications like the Monthly Business Review from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland offered industry information in reports like "A Look at Burley Tobacco" External published in October 1963. Other government publications where articles and information on tobacco industry may be found include: the Survey of Current Business, serial publication from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, and even Statistics of Income from the IRS that can include articles based on the data they collect as a result their mission and activities.

Another important part of the research process is to understand that for regulatory purposes, leaf tobacco is classified by type currently defined in Title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulation (parts 30.1 to 30.61):

  • Class 1. Flue-cured, types 11, 12, 13, and 14.
  • Class 2. Fire-cured, types 21, 22, 23, and 24.
  • Class 3.1 Air-cured, types 31 and 32 (A light air-cured) and 35, 36, and 37 (B dark air-cured).
  • Class 4. Cigar-filler, types 41, 42-44, and 45.
  • Class 5. Cigar-binder, types 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, and 56.
  • Class 6. Cigar-wrapper, types 61, 62, and 65.
  • Class 7. Miscellaneous domestic types 71 and 72.
  • Class 8. Foreign-grown cigar-leaf types.
  • Class 9. Foreign-grown types, other than cigar types.

Retail | Manufacturing | Agriculture - Industry Codes

There have been various schemes used for industry research to classify business entities and knowing them can make research easier because some databases, many of the print sources, and the U.S. government (most notably the Census Bureau) use them when collecting and publishing data. Currently, the most important of these in the United States is the North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS). Prior to that, the Census Bureau used the Standard Industry Classification (SIC) codes. Relevant codes from these systems are included in the sections below, along with links to government data related the tobacco industry are included when available.

There are other industry codes for the manufacture of related products like pipes and other accessories, or may have Products & Services Codes in the North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS). Manufacturing, wholesale, and retail are treated as different things, so it will be important to research each to understand the industry as a whole.

If you are going to be using international data, there is also the International Standard Industrial Classifications of All Economic Activities (ISITC) External which is maintained by the United Nations.

NAICS 453991 Tobacco Stores

This U.S. industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in retailing cigarettes, cigars, tobacco, pipes, and other smokers' supplies. Illustrative Examples:

Cigar stores
Smokers' supply stores
Cigarette stands (i.e., permanent)
Tobacco stores

NAICS 312230 Tobacco Manufacturing

This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in (1) stemming and redrying tobacco and/or (2) manufacturing cigarettes or other tobacco products. Illustrative Examples:

Chewing tobacco manufacturing
Cigar manufacturing
Cigarettes manufacturing (except electronic)
Snuff manufacturing
Prepared pipe tobacco manufacturing
Tobacco leaf processing and aging

NAICS 111910 Tobacco Farming

This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in growing tobacco.

If you are looking for older materials, you will need to use SIC codes. These were in use beginning in 1937, so it is important to know the SIC codes even if they are using a new system.

SIC 5194: Tobacco and Tobacco Products

Establishments primarily engaged in the wholesale distribution of tobacco and its products. Leaf tobacco wholesalers are classified in Industry 5159, and establishments primarily engaged in stemming and redrying tobacco are classified in Manufacturing, Industry 2141.

Chewing tobacco-wholesale
Smoking tobacco-wholesale
Tobacco products, manufactured-wholesale
Tobacco, except leaf-wholesale

SIC Major Group 21: Tobacco Products

This major group includes establishments engaged in manufacturing cigarettes, cigars, smoking and chewing tobacco, snuff, and reconstituted tobacco and in stemming and redrying tobacco. Also included in this major group is the manufacture of non-tobacco cigarettes.

2111 Cigarettes
2121 Cigars
2131 Chewing and Smoking Tobacco and Snuff
2141 Tobacco Stemming and Redrying

SIC 0132 Tobacco

Establishments primarily engaged in the production of tobacco.

Tobacco farms