1902 Encyclopedia > Tobacco

Tobacco




TOBACCO consists of the leaves of several species of Nicotiana (nat. ord. Solanaceee), variously prepared for use as a narcotic. While it is principally manufactured for smoking, a large amount is also prepared for chewing, and to a more limited extent it is taken in the form of snuff. Under one or other of these forms the use of tobacco is more widely spread than is that of any other narcotic or stimulant. History. Although the fact has been controverted, there cannot be a doubt that the knowledge of tobacco and its uses came to the rest of the world from America. In Novem-ber 1492 a party sent out by Columbus from the vessels of his first expedition to explore the island of Cuba brought back information that they had seen people who carried a lighted firebrand to kindle fire, and perfumed themselves with certain herbs which they carried along with them. The habit of snufi-taking was observed and described by Bamon Pane, a Franciscan, who accompanied Columbus on his second voyage (1494-6), and the practice of tobacco-chewing was first seen by the Spaniards on the coast of South America in 1502. As the continent of America was opened up and explored, it became evident that the consumption of tobacco, especially by smoking, was a universal and immemorial usage, in many cases bound up with the most significant and solemn tribal ceremonies.
The term tobacco appears not to have been a commonly used original name for the plant, and it has come to us from a peculiar instrument used for inhaling its smoke by the inhabitants of Hispaniola (San Domingo). The instru-ment, described by Oviedo (Historia de las Indias Occiden-tales, Salamanca, 1535), consisted of a small hollow wooden tube shaped like a Y> the two points of which being in-serted in the nose of the smoker, the other end was held into the smoke of burning tobacco, and thus the fumes were inhaled. This apparatus the natives called " tabaco but it must be said that the smoking pipe of the con-tinental tribes was entirely different from the imperfect tabaco of the Caribees. Benzoni, on the other hand, whose Travels in America (1542-56) were published in 1565, says that the Mexican name of the herb was " tabacco."
The tobacco plant itself was first brought to Europe in 1558 by Francisco Fernandes, a physician who had been sent by Philip II. of Spain to investigate the products of Mexico. By the French ambassador to Fortugal, Jean Nicot, seeds were sent from the Feninsula to the queen, Catherine de' Medici. The services rendered by Nicot in spreading a knowledge of the plant have been commemo-rated in the scientific name of the genus Nicotiana. At first the plant was supposed to possess almost miraculous healing powers, and was designated "herba panacea," " herba santa," " sana sancta Indorum "; " divine tobacco " it is called by Spenser, and " our holy herb nicotian " by William Lilly. While the plant came to Europe through Spain, the habit of smoking it was initiated and spread through English example. Balph Lane, the first governor of Virginia, and Sir Francis Drake brought with them in 1586, from that first American possession of the English crown, the implements and materials of tobacco smoking, which they handed over to Sir Walter Baleigh. Lane is credited with having been the first English smoker, and through the influence and example of the illustrious Baleigh, who " tooke a pipe of tobacco a little before he went to the scaffolde," the habit became rooted among Elizabethan courtiers. During the 17th century the indulgence in tobacco spread with marvellous rapidity throughout all nations, and that in the face of the most resolute opposition of statesmen and priests, the "counter-blaste " of a great monarch, penal enactments of the most severe description, the knout, excommunication, and capital punishment.
The species of Nicotiana number about fifty, but those of which Botany, the leaves are used as sources of tobacco are few. With the excep-tion of two species, one native of New Caledonia, the other proper to Australia, they are all of American origin. They form two well-defined groups, the first of which is characterized by the possession of an elongated corolla tube, red in colour, the plants having a single unbranched stalk which attains a height of from 5 to 7 feet; while to the second group belong such as have a swollen corolla tube of a greenish-yellow colour, and a much-branched stem reaching a height of only from 2 to 5 feet. The type of the first group is the Virginian Tobacco, N. Tabacum, while the best known representative of the second is the Green Tobacco, N. rustica. These two species, together with their numerous varieties, and with the Persian Tobacco, N. pérsica,—the source of the famous Tumbeki or Shiraz tobacco,—are the sole sources of commercial tobacco. N. Tabacum is the species from which the tobaccos of Cuba, the United States, and the Philippine Islands, and the Latakia of Turkey, are derived, and it is thus the source of not only the greater proportion of the tobacco of commerce but also the most highly prized and valuable of its varieties. N. rustica, originally a native of Brazil, is cultivated

to a considerable extent in South Germany, Hungary, and the East Indies.
The Virginian tobaeco-plant, N. Tabaewm, is a coarse rank-growing annual, with a simple unbranched cylindrical stem which attains a height of 6 feet and upwards, terminating in a panicle of pink flowers. It has alternate simple oblong lanceolate leaves,

FIG. 1.—Flowering Top of N. Tabacum.
those at the lower part of the stem being slightly stalked, and of large size, reaching to two feet in length, while the upper are semi-amplexicaul and of variable outline. The seeds are brown in colour, with a rough surface, of minute size, and exceedingly numerous, as many as 40,000 having been counted on a single plant. The whole of the green parts of the plant are covered with long soft hairs which exude a viscid juice, giving the surface a moist glutinous feeling. The hairs are multicellular, and of two kinds, one branching and ending in a fine point, while the other, unbranched, terminates in a clump of small cells. Stomata occur on both surfaces of the leaves, and, with the peculiar hair structure, render the microscopic appearance of the plant highly characteristic.

FIG. 2.—Microscopic Structure of Tobacco Leaf.
Cultiva- Tobacco will flourish over wide areas and in very dissimilar tion. climates, but it is best suited for regions having a mean tempera-ture of not less than 40° E. and where early autumn frosts do not occur. It develops the most highly appreciated qualities in tropical lands possessed of a comparatively dry climate. Tobacco is a most exhausting crop, and requires rich and abundant manuring, the character of which exercises a distinct influence on the quality of the product. A crop grown under such widely different conditions of climate and agriculture as is the case with tobacco must of necessity be subject to varied treatment both in cultivation and in curing, and here we can refer only to the general features of the growing and securing of the crop.
In European cultivation, the tobacco-seed is sown in a hotbed about the end of March. The seed-beds are kept covered with damp straw or withered leaves till the seedlings appear above the ground, after which the covering is removed, and, to protect the young plants from frost, to which they are extremely sensitive, the beds are covered at night with mats. So soon as the plants can be handled, they are picked out in rows in a garden bed, where they remain protected from night frost till they have developed five or six leaves and have a height of 3 to 4 inches. They are then ready for transplanting, by preference in moist weather, into prepared drills 20 to 25 inches apart in the field. The transplanting is done about the end of May, or earlier in localities free from night frosts, and in dry weather the field is plentifully soused with liquid manure. The plants are carefully weeded and attended to, and the soil is frequently stirred with narrow hoes until the period when they show symptoms of flowering. This may be when they are only 3 feet high, or not until they have reached their proper heigh^of 6 or 8 feet; but the flowers must not be allowed to form, except in the case of a few plants left purposely for seed. To obtain fine and strong leaves on the plant is the great object of the cultivator, and a fine tobacco plant ought to have from eight to twelve large succulent leaves. Cultivators commonly diminish the number of leaves by "topping" or breaking off the top, under the idea that the remaining ones will afford the strongest tobacco. Suckers or shoots near the root are carefully removed, and every-thing is done to concentrate the strength of the plant in the leaves. Every leaf injured by insects is removed, and the crop is watched until the leaves have a yellowish tint and begin to droop, when they are fit to be gathered. This is usually in September, so that the plants, from the time of their insertion on the mounds, have occupied the ground four months, during which time they have been subject to many vicissitudes,—from the attacks of insects, from a disease called "firing," caused by the long continuance of very wet, or very dry weather, and from the occurrence of autumn frosts while the crop is yet in the field.
In the harvesting of the tobacco crop several distinct methods are followed. In ordinary European cultivation the ripe leaves are separated from the standing stalks in the field. The three lower root-leaves are first stripped off and laid, face downward, around the root to wilt, after which they are bundled and carried to the barn. Afterwards the remainder of the leaves are separated, working from the top downwards, and, similarly, they are spread on the ground till by wilting they lose their brittleness. They are then bundled and packed, tops upward, closely on the floor of the barn for some time to sweat, by which the uniform ripening and subsequent favourable drying are promoted. The bundles are carefully watched to prevent overheating, which would blacken and injure the leaves. In the tobacco-growing districts of the United States the entire plant is cut down in the field close to the ground, then the stalks are spitted on long rods or laths, care being taken to keep the leaves from touching each other, and on these rods they are carried and hung in the barn or curing-house for drying.
The curing of the leaves which follows has for its objects the Curing, drying and preservation of the tobacco, and, by a process of slow fermentation, the modification of certain of the leaf constituents, and the development of the characteristic aroma of the substance. Subject to various minor modifications, the process of curing is carried out either slowly by the air-cure process or rapidly by fire-curing. The European cultivators, who generally cure by the slow process, either spit the leaves through the middle on a long rod or string them on a cord, taking care to keep each leaf from touching its neighbour. These rods or cords of leaves are suspended in a barn or curing-shed in a way which allows the free circulation of the air, and at the same time brings the whole contents of the shed equally under the drying influence of the air currents. When the weather is clear and dry, free circulation of the air is in every way promoted, but on humid days the moist air is excluded and sometimes artificial heat is required to prevent mildew and rotting of the leaves. Under favourable circumstances the tobacco will be dry and ready for further treatment in from six to eight weeks, and the leaves should then have a fine bright warm brown colour.
In the United States the quick-drying process by artificial heat is employed principally for the preparation of export tobacco. Formerly the heat was obtained by means of an open charcoal fire within the curing-barh, but now the structure is heated by a system of flues which permits of the burning of any kind of fuel. For dark shipping tobacco, the entire plants, cut down close to the ground, are immediately housed, and at once dried off. Red shipping qualities are prepared by leaving the cut stems either in the field or hung on scaffolds in the barns for a few days to wilt and wither in the air, after which they are dried by artificial heat. In the treatment of both dark and red kinds the temperature within the barn is gradually raised till it reaches 170° F., and the drying is complete in from four to five days.
By whichever way treated, the tobacco-leaf at this stage is brittle, and cannot be handled without crumbling to powder. The contents of the barn are therefore left till moist weather occurs, and then by the admission of atmospheric air the leaf blades absorb moisture and become soft and pliant. In this condition the leaves are stripped from the stems, sorted into qualities, such as "lugs," or lower leaves, " firsts," and " seconds." These are made up into

" hands," or small bundles of from six to twelve leaves. Each bundle is tied round with a separate leaf, and in this condition the tobacco is ready for bulking for fermentation.
For fermentation the tobacco, whether in bundles, hands, or separate leaves, is piled up or bulked on the floor in a barn into a solid stack to the height of 5 or 6 feet. Within this stack a process of fermentation is quickly set up, and the temperature of the mass rises steadily till it reaches about 130° F. Great care is now taken to prevent overheating, and to secure the uniform fermentation of all the tobacco. The pile is from time to time taken down and rebuilt, the tobacco from the top going to the bottom, and that exposed at the edges being turned in to the centre. In from three to five weeks the fermentation should be sufficient!}' carried out, and the leaves then have a nice uniform brown colour. The cured stack may in this condition be piled up in store without fear of further fermentative activity, till, with increasing summer heat, it is subject to the May sweat, which renders further watch-fulness necessary.
Chemis- The components of tobacco, like those of all vegetable matters, try. arrange themselves under the three heads of water, mineral acids and bases (which pass into the ash on combustion), and organic substances. According to an investigation carried out by Beauchef in Gay-Lussac's laboratory, the amount of ash from 100 parts of matter dried at 100° C. is in the roots 6 to 8, in the stems 10 to 13, and in the ribs and leaves 18 to 22 per cent. The greater part of the ash consists of insoluble salts, principally carbonate of lime. The soluble part consists largely of potash salts (KC1, K3C03, K2S04), which may amount to from 5 to 35 per cent., and it is remarkable that tobacco contains no soda. In addition to the mineral salts proper, tobacco contains salts of ammonia and nitrates. In the leaf the proportion of nitrates is greater in the rib than in the laminae. In the former it may amount to as much as 10 per cent, (calculating the nitric acid as KN03). According to Schloesing (Ann. Chim. Phijs., [3], xl. 479), the proportion of (combined) nitric acid in tobacco has nothing to do with its combustibility, that is, the length of time a lighted cigar will glow spontaneously. This quality is a function chiefly of the potash present in combination with organic acids. An incombustible tobacco, i.e., a tobacco which does not keep a glowing ash, contains its organic acids in the form of lime and magnesia salts. The explanation is that, while organic potash salts, being fusible, yield when heated a porous charcoal which glows readily, the corresponding infusible lime salts yield a compact charcoal which is far less combustible. A combustible tobacco can be rendered incombustible by the incor-poration of sulphate or chloride of calcium or magnesium. By cultivation experiments in a potash-free soil, it has been ascertained that chloride of potassium used as a manure does not add to the organic potash salts in the leaves, but the sulphate, carbonate, and nitrate do give up their potash for the formation of organic salts.
Subjoined is an enumeration of the proximate organic com-ponents of tobacco leaves, and their relative proportions in 100 parts, according to the numerous analyses made in the laboratories of the French'state tobacco factories :—
Nicotine, C10H14N„, a liquid volatile alkaloid, from 1 '5 to 9 per cent.
Essential oil,—according to Schloesing, an important element in the flavour of tobacco, although its proportion is exceed-ingly small.
Nicotianine, a solid camphor-like body to which, according to other authorities, the odour of tobacco is principally due.
Malic and citric acids, together 10-14 per cent., calculated as anhydrides.
Acetic acid, very little in fresh leaves, but increasing in their
fermentation. In snuff it may rise to 3 per cent. Oxalic acid, 1 to 2 per cent. Pectic acid, about 5 per cent.
Resins, fats, and other bodies extractable by ether, 4 to 6 per cent.
Sugar, little in the leaves, more in the stems; in the fer-mentation it disappears. Cellulose, 7 to 8 per cent.
Albuminoids, calculated from the nitrogen not present as nicotine, nitrates, or ammonia, about 25 per cent. Excepting the nicotine, the several organic components of the leaves develop, roughly speaking, pari passu, until fructification, when certain components are attracted to the fruit, suffering chemical changes while so moving. The nicotine determines the strength of a tobacco, but not its flavour or aroma. The manure supplied to a tobacco field does not increase the proportion of nicotine, but affects only the weight of the crop. The percentage of nicotine in the leaves may to some extent be modified in cultiva-tion,—plants wide apart developing few leaves, but these thick, fleshy, and rich in nicotine, while closely packed plants throw out numerous but thin and membranous leaves having little nicotine. The proportion of nicotine present increases with the age of the plant. Schloesing found in leaves at various stages of growth the following percentage of nicotine:—May 25 (very young leaves),
0-79; July 18, 1-21; Aug. 6, 1'93; Aug. 27, 2'27; Sept. 8, 3'36; Sept. 25, 4-32.
Regarding the changes which take place in the manufactured leaf, we take the case of snuff, because with it the chemical changes are carried farthest, and yet, qualitatively speaking, they are of the same nature as those which smoking tobacco undergoes. In the fermentation begun in curing and continued in the sauced leaf, the malic and citric acids and the nicotine undergo partial oxidation. The oxalate of lime and the pectates remain almost unchanged, and there are formed, of intermediate (not fully oxidized) bodies, ammonia, acetic acid, and black humic acid, the last giving to snuff its dark colour. A little methyl-alcohol is also at the same time formed. At this stage the tobacco-leaf is acid in reaction ; but after it is powdered, and again submitted for a prolonged period to a slow fermentation in air-tight boxes, it becomes decidedly alkaline by the ammonia, because, while acetic acid continues to be formed and the ammonia and nicotine remain what they are, the malic and citric acids are progressively destroyed. Unless snuff contains free ammonia it is "flat," and destitute of pungency.
As to the composition of tobacco smoke, numerous investigations have been made. Kissling (Ding. Polyt. Jour., ccliv. 234-246), experimenting on cigars, found that a large proportion of the nicotine passes unaltered into the smoke. Dealing with a tobacco containing 3'75 per cent, of nicotine, he recovered from the smoke 52'02 per cent, of the total nicotine consumed, while in the uncon-sumed remains of the tobacco the proportion of nicotine was increased to 5 '03 per cent. With a second sample of tobacco, having likewise 375 per cent, of nicotine, the smoke yielded only 27'83 per cent, of the total nicotine consumed, and the percentage in the unconsumed remains was raised to 4 51. From a tobacco containing only 0'30 of nicotine he recovered 84'23 of nicotine in the smoke. The composition of tobacco smoke is highly complex, but beyond nicotine the only substances found in appreciable quan-tities are the lower members of the picoline series.
The commercial varieties and the sources of supply of leaf- Commer-tobacco are exceedingly numerous. Special qualities of tobacco, as cial varie of wines, &c, belong to particular localities, outside of which they ties, cannot be cultivated. These tobaccos are therefore natural mono-polies. Moreover, as is also the case with wines, the crops vary in richness and delicacy of flavour with the seasons of their growth, so that in certain years the produce is of much greater value than in others. Further, the properties of certain classes of tobacco render them specially suitable for cigar-making. Others are best fitted for smoking in pipes; and there are numerous qualities which are valuable for snuff-making. National tastes and habits again frequently determine the destination of tobacco. Thus heavy, strong, and full-flavoured cigars and tobaccos are in favour in the United Kingdom, while on the Continent lighter and more brisk-burning qualities are sought after, and the materials consumed in the kalians of Persia and the East are not suitable for use in the short pipes of the Western nations.
Of cigar tobaccos the most valuable qualities in the world are cultivated in the north-west portions of the island of Cuba. The district of Vuelta Abajo is the source of the highest quality, after which comes the produce of Partidas and Vuelta Arriba. A large portion of the tobacco is made into cigars in the island, but con-siderable quantities are also exported to Europe and the United States for mixing with commoner qualities to give Havana character to the home-made cigars. In recent years a large export of tobacco from Brazil, especially from the province of Bahia, has sprung up, most of which goes to Germany and Austria for cigar-making. The "seed-leaf" tobacco of Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Ohio, grown from Havana seed, is devoted to cigar-making in the United States. In the East the most important cigar-tobacco region is the Philippine Islands, from which come the well-known Manila cheroots and cigars and a large quantity of leaf-tobacco of dis-tinctive aroma. Immense quantities of cigar tobacco are also ex-ported from Java and Sumatra, most of which passes through the markets of Amsterdam and Rotterdam. In the Madras presidency and in Burmah cigar tobacco is largely cultivated, the strong heavy qualities of which are well known to the British public in the Burmese, Lunka, and Dindigul cheroots.
Of ordinary smoking tobacco, among the most esteemed quali-ties are Varinas or kanaster, grown in the districts of Varinas, Merida, Margarita, &c, in Venezuela. The name kanaster, which covers several varieties of tobacco from South America, is given on account of the wicker baskets (Span, kanastra) in which the material is packed for export. The tobacco regions of the United States—Kentucky, Maryland, Virginia, and Ohio—send great sup-plies of smoking leaf of various qualities into the European market, especially into the United Kingdom, which is almost exclusively supplied from these sources. Smoking tobaccos of the highest quality, rivalling indeed the cigar tobacco of Cuba in flavour and value, are grown in Turkey, and specially in the province of Salonica. The famous Latakia of the English smokers is pro-duced in the province of Saida, in the northern part of Syria (see


LATAKIA), and thoughout Asiatic Turkey there is an extensive cultivation and export of smoking tobacco. Manu- In the manufacture of tobacco for smoking, we have to do with facture. the numerous forms of tobacco used for smoking in pipes, embrac-ing cut smoking mixtures, cake or plug, and roll or spun tobacco. Under this heading come also the cigar and cigarette manufacture.
The raw material in the warehouses is of various qualities : some
is strong, rough, and harsh, and so is unfit for ordinary smoking ;
other samples are mild and fine, with aromatic and pleasant
flavour, but devoid of strength. By a proper mixing and blending
the manufacturer is enabled to prepare the smoking mixture which
is desirable for his purpose; but certain of the rough, bitter
qualities cannot be manufactured without a preliminary treatment
by which their intense disagreeable taste is modified. The storing
of such tobacco for a lengthened period matures and deprives it of
harshness, and the same result may be artificially hastened by
macerating the leaves in water acidulated with hydrochloric acid,
and washing them out with pure water. The most efficient means,
however, of improving strong, ill-tasting tobacco is by renewed
fermentation artificially induced by moisture and heat.
Smoking The manufacturer having prepared his mixture of leaves, proceeds
mixtures, to damp them, pure water alone being used in the United Kingdom,
whereas on the Continent and in America certain "sauces" are
employed, which consist of mixtures of aromatic substances, sugar,
liquorice, common salt, and saltpetre, &c., dissolved in water. The
primary object is to render the leaves soft and pliant ; the use of
the sauces is to improve the flavour and burning qualities of the
leaves used. "When uniformly damped, the leaves are separately
opened out and smoothed, the midrib, if not already removed, is
torn out, except when "bird's eye" cut is to be made, in which
mixture the midrib gives the peculiar "bird's eye" appearance.
The prepared tobacco, while still moist and pliant, is pressed between
cylinders into a light cake, and cut into fine uniform shreds by a
machine analogous to the chaff-cutter. The cut tobacco is now
roasted, partly with the view of driving off moisture and bringing
the material into a condition for keeping, but also partly to improve
its smoking quality. The roasting is most simply effected by
spreading it on heated slabs, on which it is constantly turned; but
such a method does not yield uniform results, and it exposes the
workers to a most deleterious atmosphere and noxious fumes. A
roasting machine is in use, which consists of a revolving drum in
which the tobacco is rotated, gradually passing from one end to
the other, and all the time under the influence of a current of heated
air passing through it.
Boll For roll, twist, or pigtail tobacco the raw material is damped or
tobacco, sauced as in the case of cut tobacco. The interior of the roll
consists of small and broken leaf of various kinds, called " fillers" ;
and this is enclosed within an external covering of large whole leaf
of bright quality, such leaves being called " covers." The material
is supplied to the twisting machinery by an attendant, and formed
into a cord of uniform thickness, twisted, and wound on a drum by
mechanism analogous to that used in rope-spinning. From the
drum of the twisting machine the spun tobacco is rolled into
cylinders of various sizes. These are enclosed in canvas, and around
the surface of each stout hempen cord is tightly and closely coiled.
In this form a large number, after being cooked or stoved in moist
heat for about twenty-four hours, are piled between plates in an
hydraulic press, and subjected to great pressure for a month or six
weeks, during which time a slow fermentation takes place, and a
considerable exudation of juice results from the severe pressure.
The juice is collected for use as a sheep-dip.
Cake Cake or plug tobacco is made by enveloping the desired amount
tobacco, of fillers within covering leaves of a fine bright colour. A large number of such packages are placed in moulds, and submitted to powerful pressure in an hydraulic press, by which they are moulded into solid cakes. Both cake and roll tobacco are equally used for smoking and chewing ; for the latter purpose the cake is frequently sweetened with liquorice, and sold as honey-dew or sweet cavendish. Cigars. For cigar-making the finest and most delicately flavoured qualities of tobacco are generally selected. A cigar consists of a core or central mass of fillers enveloped in an inner and an outer cover or robe. The fillers or inner contents of the cigar must be of uniform quality, and so packed and distributed in a longitudinal direction that the tobacco may burn uniformly and the smoke can be freely drawn from end to end. For the inner cover whole leaf of the same quality as the fillers is used, but for the outer cover only selected leaves of the finest quality and colour, free from all injury, are employed. The covers are carefully cut to the proper size and shape with a sharp knife, and, being damped, a pile of them smoothed out are placed together. In making cigars by the hand, the operator rolls together a sufficient quantity of material to form the filling of one cigar, and experience enables him or her to select very uniform quantities. This quantity is wrapped in the inner cover, an oblong piece of leaf the length of the cigar to be made, and of width sufficient to enclose the whole material. The cigar is then rolled in the hand to consolidate the tobacco and bring it into proper shape, after which it is wrapped in the outer cover, a shaped piece made to enclose the whole in a spiral manner, begin-ning at the thick end of the cigar and working down to the pointed end, where it is dexterously finished by twisting to a fine point between the fingers. The finished cigars are either spread out in the sunlight to be dried, or, where that is impracticable, they are exposed to a gentle heat. They are then sorted into qualities according to their colour, packed and pressed in boxes, in which they are stored for sale. Machinery is now employed for forming and moulding the fillings of cigars.
Havana cigars are, as regards form, classification, method of putting up, and nomenclature, the models followed by manufacturers of all classes of the goods. Genuine ("légitimas") Havana cigars are such only as are made in the island ; and the cigars made in Europe and elsewhere from genuine Cuban tobacco are classed as "Havanas." Other brands of home manufacture contain some proportion of Cuban tobacco ; and very good cigars may be made in which the name only of that highly-prized leaf is employed. "When we come to the inferior classes of cigars, it can only be said that they may be made from any kind of leaf, the more ambitious imitations being treated with various sauces designed to give them a Havana flavour. The highest class of Cuban-made cigars, called " vegueras," are prepared from the very finest Vuelta Abajo leaf, rolled when it is just half dry, and consequently never damped with water at all. Next come the "regalias," similarly made of the best "Vuelta Abajo tobacco ; and it is only the lower qualities, "ordinary regalias," which are commonly found in commerce, the finer, along with the "vegueras," being exceedingly high-priced. The cigars, when dry, are carefully sorted according to strength, which is estimated by their colour, and classed in a scale of increasing strength as claro, Colorado claro, maduro, and oscuro. They are pressed into the cigar, boxes for sale, and branded with the name or trade mark of their makers. Cheroots differ from ordinary cigars only in shape, being either in the form of a trun-cated cone, or of uniform thickness throughout, but always having both ends open and sharply cut across. Cheroots come princi-pally from Manila, but there are now large quantities imported into the United Kingdom from the East Indies and Burmah.
Cigarettes consist of small rolls of fine cut tobacco wrapped in a Cigar-covering of thin tough paper specially made for such use. Origin- ettes. ally cigarettes were entirely prepared by the smoker himself ; but, now that the consumption of cigarettes has attained gigantic pro-portions, especially in France, they are very largely made with the aid of an elaborate system of automatic machinery. The machines cut the paper, gum its edge, measure out the proper quantity of tobacco, wrap it up, make the gummed edge adhere, cut the ends, and pack the cigarettes in boxes.
The manufacture of snuff is the most complex, tedious, and Snuff, difficult undertaking of the tobacco manufacturer; but it is an art now of relatively little and of decreasing importance. The tobacco best suited for snuff-making is thick fleshy leaf of a dark colour, the finest qualities of snuff being made with dark Virginia leaf and the Amersfoort leaf of Holland; but manufacturers work up many kinds with fragments from the making of smoking tobacco, midribs, &c. The varieties and qualities of snuff are many, the differences being dependent on the material employed, the sauces with which it is treated, and the method of manufacture. The sauces for snuff consist of solutions of common salt, with various aromatic substances according to the flavour desired in the finished snuff, and with occasional additions of potash, sal ammoniac, and other salts. The following is an outline of the method adopted in making snuff on the great scale in the state manufacture of France. The tobacco leaves are moistened with about one-fifth of their weight of salt and water (sp. gr. 1'089), made up into blocks, and piled in large rectangular heaps, in quantities of 40 or 50 tons. The temperature gradually rises to 140° F., and sometimes reaches 170°; but the heat must be regulated, or parts of the mass would become black as if charred. The heaps are made up in spring and autumn, and the fermentation is continued for five or six months, wdien the temperature remains stationary or begins to decline. The heap is then opened, and the tobacco is ground, by which means a pale brown dryish powder (râpé sec) is obtained. This is mixed with about four-tenths of its weight of a solution of common salt, and is passed through a sieve, that the powder may be uniformly moistened. It is then packed in large open chests in quantities of from 25 to 50 tons, where it remains for nine or ten months, and undergoes another fermentation, the temperature rising in the centre of the mass to 120° or 130°. During this process the snuff acquires its dark colour and develops its aroma. But it is not uniform in quality throughout, and is removed to a second chest, in such a way as thoroughly to mix all the different parts together, and, after the lapse of two months, it is again turned over ; and the process is sometimes repeated a third time. When the snuff is ripe, the contents of the various chests are mixed together in a large room capable of holding 350 tons of snuff, where it is left for about six weeks, and the whole mass being uniform in quality is sifted into barrels for the market. The process of manufacture occupies in all from eighteen to twenty months. During these

repeated fermentations about two-thirds of the nicotine is destroyed, the acidity of the snuff disappears, and the mass becomes distinctly alkaline, notwithstanding that acetic acid is continuously evolved. The destruction of malic and citric acids continues, and the bases thereby set free saturate the acetic acid formed, leaving free ammonia in the snuff. The properties of snuff are dependent on the presence of free nicotine, free ammonia, and the peculiar aromatic principle developed in the fermentation.
The reduction of tobacco-leaf to a snuff powder is a task of con-siderable difficulty, owing to the gummy nature of the substance, which tends to coat and clog grinding surfaces. In early times the duly sauced and fermented leaves were made up into " carottes," —tightly tied up spindle-formed bundles, from the end of which the suuffer, by means of a "snuff rasp," rasped off his own supply, and hence the name "râpé," which we have still as " rappee," to indicate a particular class of snuff. The practice of tying up the leaves in the form of carottes is still followed by makers of fine snuff, as the very slow fermentation which goes on within the bundles is favourable to the development of a rich aroma. For pulverization, the leaves are first cut to shreds with a revolving knife, and then powdered either by a kind of mortar and pestle mill, or by falling stampers supplied with knife cutting edges, or more commonly they are treated in a conical mill, in which both the revolving cone and the sides have sharp cutting edges, so that the material undergoes a cutting rather than a grinding action. The snulf from the mill is sifted, and that which remains on the sieve is returned to the mill, the remainder being passed on as râpé see for further treatment as described above. Fiscal In nearly all civilized countries the cultivation of tobacco and restric- its manufacture are conducted under state supervision, and form an tions. important source of public revenue. In France, Austria-Hungary, Italy, and Spain the cultivation is a state monopoly, and in other countries the crop is subject to heavy excise duties. Since the time of Charles II. the growth of tobacco in England has been practically prohibited, the original legislative exactment to that effect having been passed with the view of encouraging trade with the young colony of Virginia. When that motive ceased to have force the supposed difficulties of collecting the internal taxation still influenced the legislature to continue their prohibition, and consequently a penalty or prohibitive tax equal to sixteen hundred pounds per acre is exigible on the cultivation of tobacco in the United Kingdom. In Ireland the duty on the cultivation of tobacco was abandoned between 1822 and 1830, and in that interval the cultivation grew till about a thousand acres were under the crop. In 1886 the Government permitted the experimental cultivation of tobacco in England, under certain precautions and restrictions for the security of the revenue. Several proprietors in Kent, Norfolk, and other counties grew experimental patches with such success as to warrant the continuance of the experiment and to prove the entire practicability of cultivating tobacco as an English agricultural crop. The climate is, however, so variable that, were all restric-tions removed, and tobacco grown subject only to excise supervision for collecting an equitable tax, it is more than doubtful whether its growth would be a safe and profitable undertaking. Physio- The influence of tobacco on health and morals has, ever since logical its introduction into Europe, been a fruitful subject of controversy, effects. On all grounds, except as a medicine, it met the most uncom-promising opposition when it first became known ; but it was precisely the expectations entertained regarding its medicinal virtues which were completely disappointed. Burton, in the Anatomy of Melancholy, gives strong expression to the two views : " Tobacco, divine, rare, superexcellent tobacco, which goes far beyond all the panaceas, potable gold, and philosopher's stones, is a sovereign remedy in all diseases. A good vomit, I confess, a vir-tuous herb if it be well qualified, opportunely taken, and medi-cinally used ; but, as it is commonly abused by most men, which take it as tinkers do ale, 'tis a plague, a mischief, a violent purge of goods, lands, health,—hellish, devilish, and damned tobacco, the ruin and overthrow of body and soul." Burton's meaning— that tobacco in moderation is a good thing, while its excessive use causes many physical and other evils—has many sympathizers ; but the difficulty is to define moderation and excess. Among modern authorities, Dr Jonathan Pereira says, " I am not acquainted with any well-ascertained ill effects resulting from the habitual practice of smoking." Similarly Sir Robert Christison concludes, " In many individuals who use it habitually, the smoke has an extra-ordinary power in removing exhaustion, listlessness, and restless-ness, especially when brought on by bodily or mental fatigue, and this property is the basis of its general use as an article of luxury. " Dr E. A. Parkes sums up his observations thus : " I confess myself quite uncertain. I can find nothing like good evidence in books ; too often a foregone conclusion, without any evidence to back it, is given. I think we must decidedly admit injury from excess ; from moderate use I can see no harm, except it may be in youth." On the other hand, it is asserted by the opponents of tobacco, and by the anti-tobacco societies, that the habitual use of this narcotic leads, especially in the young, to decrease of bodily and mental vigour, and specially produces symptoms of anaemia, palpitation, intermittent pulse, and other affections of the heart and circula-tion. It is an admitted fact that a disease of the vision—tobacco amblyopia—is contracted by smokers, and is not uncommon among those using strong heavy preparations, such as black twist. Allowing that such incidental evils may arise from even comparatively moderate indulgence in tobacco, they are after all as nothing compared to the vast aggregate of gentle exhilaration, soothing, and social comfort, extracted from the Virginian weed.
Total Consumption. Per Head.
1821 1S31 1811 1851 1871 1S81 ft
15,598,152 19,533,841 22,309,860 28,062,978 42,775,334 49,820,493 oz. 11-71 12-80 13-21 16-87 21-49 22-60
With the almost universal prevalence of the use of tobacco, it Corn-must be obvious that the amount consumed yearly is very great, merce. In the United Kingdom, which is much less a tobacco-consuming country than the United States or many European countries, the consumption per head has steadily increased, as is shown in the accompanying table.
The customs duty derived from imports of tobacco amounted in 1886 to £9,298,990, and there cer-tainly is a considerable quantity of manufactured tobacco smuggled into the kingdom which comes into no official record. In the United States the production of tobacco was in 1840 219,163,319 lb, in 1850 199,752,655 lb, in 1860 434,209,461 To, in 1870 262,735,341 To, and in 1880 472,661,157 To. During the ten years ending ?SS1 the average annual production was 472,000,000 lb, cultivated o.i from 600,000 to 700,000 acres, the value of the crops ranging from $40,000,000 to 845,000,000. In the same ten years 2,540,818,001 lb of leaf were exported, 1,897,606,249 lb were manufactured for home consumption, and the quantity consumed by growers was estimated to be equal to 280,000,000 tt>.
For Tobacco Pipe, see PIPE.
The literature of tobacco is very extensive. The late Mr William Bragge of
Birmingham published in 1880 a revised bibliography of the subject, Bibliotheca
Nicotiaua, extending to 248 quarto pages. From such a mass of authorities it
would be vain here to make selections, but mention may be made of Fairholt's
capital gossiping work, Tobacco, its History and Associations (2d ed., 1876). As
modern standard works there may also be quoted Tiedemann's Geschichte des
Tabaks (1856) and Wagner's TabakcuHur, Tabak- und Cigarren-Fabrication (1884).
In the Tenth Census Heports of the United States (18S3), vol. iii., there are a series
of elaborate papers on the cultivation, manufacture, and statistics of American
tobacco. (J. PA,—W. D.)











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