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Global Tobacco Development History

Global Tobacco Development History

  • 2019/12/02

Archaeologists discovered that tobacco originated in the American continent, which was also confirmed by a large number of Native American inhabitants' remains and early explorers' diaries. In the 5000-3000 BC, American Indians discovered tobacco and began planting it. In the early days, tobacco was mainly used to prevent and treat insect or snake bites, as well as some headaches. With the development of tribal society, tobacco was used in primitive religions and sacrifices. Because of its medicinal and ritual value, more and more Indians started planting tobacco, chewing dry tobacco leaf, soaking it in water and so on. Tobacco has been used in various ways and gradually become a lifestyle and habit of ancient Indians.

Beginning with the discovery of the New World in Columbus in 1492, Europeans discovered tobacco and brought it all over the world.

Groups of Spanish expeditions came to the Americas in search of spices, gold and silver treasures and mines. In the first few decades, tobacco did not attract much attention. However, in the long-term contact with the indigenous Indians, along with the numerous difficult expeditions and transoceanic trades, more and more early European explorers, sailors, and coastal merchants have gradually formed a smoking habit. Tobacco, as a novelty plant discovered in the New World, the peculiar act of smoking it and its medicinal effects have gradually attracted the attention and interest of Europeans. Tobacco was originally used as a “herb” and smoking was regarded as a treatment. Spanish and the Portuguese were the first to start growing and using tobacco. It was introduced to France and the United Kingdom in the 1950s, and introduced to Germany and Italy in the 1960s, and then to other regions. After the introduction of tobacco, it was quickly favored by aristocrats because of its miraculous curative effect. It was first popularized in the upper class and regarded as a panacea for treating all diseases. Then it gradually evolved into a daily necessity for people's daily life.

In 1571, after conquering the Philippines, Spain brought tobacco to Asia for the first time. Then it was brought to China by Chinese merchants in Fujian around 1600. From the late 16th to early 17th centuries, the Portuguese used tobacco in the maritime trade in Asia and Africa, bringing it to India, Indonesia and Japan in Asia, then to Turkey and Iran in the Middle East, along the southern coast of Africa. After the middle of the 17th century, the emerging empire such as the Netherlands, France, and the United Kingdom further spread tobacco to a wider region such as West Africa and Russia. By 1700, when Europeans brought tobacco to Australia and New Zealand, tobacco became a global consumer goods.

After the introduction of tobacco into Europe, it was first smoked in the form of a pipe. In the 18th century, snuff was popular. In the 19th century, cigars became popular. Under different social, economic, cultural, and geographical conditions, various local tobacco consumption customs have been formed. For example, East Asians liked using long-stemmed Chinese pipes, Middle East preferred shisha while North American had chewing tobacco. Processing methods are generally hand workshops, but there are some differences in size and efficiency. Except American plantations, most areas produced and traded on a small scale. For more than 300 years, the global tobacco growing and processing industry have been continuously improved and developed, but there was no fundamental change in general. The tobacco industries of different places have no distinct differences; they are basically in the state of small workshops. With the development of primitive capitalism, the monopoly and corporate management of tobacco have emerged in Western Europe.

In the 17th century, handmade cigarettes appeared in Spain. By 1839, a new type of flue-cured tobacco appeared in Virginia, USA, which heated tobacco through a flue without exposure to flames. This new flue-cured tobacco is now Virginia flue-cured tobacco. Its emergence has changed the way human absorbs nicotine, giving new "life" to cigarettes, providing a basis for the emergence and development of modern cigarettes. The first cigarette machine was introduced in the United States in 1880. The modern cigarette maker developed by American inventor Bensak has a maximum efficiency of 200 to 212 per minute, which is equivalent to the workload of 40 to 50 workers at that time, providing technical conditions for the industrial production of modern cigarettes. Modern cigarettes started in Europe and America from the end of the 19th century, from handcraft to machine, from workshop to factory, from Europe and America to the world.

In the 1920s, the European and American feminist movements promoted the smoking rate of women all the way, and the smoking group continued to expand. The two world wars accelerated the development of cigarettes, which became an avant-garde symbol of the new era and new life. During this period, the global cigarette production and sales volume, which was dominated by Europe and the United States, increased rapidly from approximately 1 million cases in 1900 to more than 33 million cases in 1950.

After the Second World War, the development of Western capitalism entered a golden period. While the European and American cigarette markets continue to grow rapidly. The economies of Latin America and Japan have begun to take off. Cigarette production and consumption in these countries and regions have entered a period of rapid growth. In Latin America, the smoking rate of women increased linearly in the 1950s and 1960s, and the production and sales volume of cigarettes increased sharply. In Japan, production and sales of cigarettes increased by 92% in the 1950s and 80% in the 1960s. The production and sales of Korean cigarettes increased by 176% in the 1960s. Global cigarette production and sales increased by 28% in the 1950s, by 45% in the 1960s, and reached more than 62 million cases in 1970.

At the same time, experts have begun to conduct truly scientific and rational research on cigarettes. In 1964, the US federal government issued the "Smoking and Health" report, which was confirmed in the name of the government that "smoking is harmful to health." The tobacco industry entered a new era of reducing the harm of tobacco. Since then, the social environment for tobacco development has begun to undergo major changes. People's research and understanding of the harmfulness of tobacco has been deepened, and the voices of anti-smoking and tobacco control have been increasing. There are more and more restrictions and control measures on cigarette advertising, packaging warnings, product ingredients, smoking places, etc. The social culture of tobacco control has gradually taken shape. In order to meet the health demands of consumers, the tobacco industry quickly turned to the development of low-tar smoking product. The European and American cigarette markets have also begun to turn down and enter a trend of shrinking and falling.

While in the late 20th century, there was a trend of rapid growth in the production and sales of cigarettes in developing countries and regions. Driven by the oil economy, Indonesian cigarette production and sales increased by 160% in the 1970s and 67% in the 1980s. After implementation of the reform and opening up policy , China's cigarette production and sales increased by 90% in the 1980s and by 12% in the 1990s. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia’s cigarette production and sales increased by 83% in 1990s, and the cigarette sales in Eastern Europe also showed a high increase. At the same time, global tobacco leaf cultivation and cigarette production were gradually shifting from developed countries to developing countries and regions. The total volume of global cigarette production and sales increased by 41% in the 1970s, by 24% in the 1980s, and by 2% in the 1990s. By 2000, global cigarette production and sales reached 111.6 million cases.

Since the beginning of the 21st century, the global tobacco industry has entered a new era of seeking change and breakthroughs. E-cigarettes, heated tobacco device, and other new tobacco products continue to emerge. In 2004, the world's first electronic cigarette was launched; tobacco and non-tobacco companies quickly entered the e-cig market. According to relevant statistics, global sales of new tobacco products were US$0.5 billion in 2005, US$1 billion in 2010, and US$10 billion in 2016. In 2014, Philip Morris International launched the second generation of iQOS, a tobacco heating system, which was being sold in Japan, Italy, Switzerland, Portugal, Russia and other countries. The market response is good and the product always fall short of demand.Mysmok Electronic Technology Co., Ltd.

Whether new tobacco products, especially the tobacco heating products, is a short-lived one or will change the future direction of the global tobacco industry, may depend on the development and changes of the markets and the government regulation. Also, R&D is a key determinant. From the current point of view, the global research and development of electronic cigarettes and HNB tobacco products are in full swing; new technologies are constantly emerging, and some new products have made major breakthroughs. With strong social needs and support from modern technology, it is possible to develop a new type of tobacco product that is both low-hazard and even harmless, and that even has excellent smoking feelings!


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