23 million pounds of Pennsylvania tobacco were grown in 2012, more than double what was produced as recently as 2005, when production hovered around 11 million pounds. Though this recent spike in production is novel for the current industry climate, it comes as no surprise when one considers Pennsylvania’s long-standing love affair with the tobacco leaf.
Pennsylvania has a long history of Tobacco Growing and Cigar Manufacturing. For the past 200 years it has been the most Cigar friendly state in the U.S. Though it is common for cigar factories to sprout up in areas where tobacco is grown, it is still quite amazing to consider that at one time 719 Pennsylvania cities, towns and communities had at least one resident cigar factory. In the late 1800s the statewide total was 4,658 cigar factories.
We recently published an article regarding how Red Lion, PA was once the cigar making capital of the world, responsible for manufacturing roughly 10 percent of the cigars in the United States.
Lancaster Pennsylvania also has a particularly rich history in tobacco and cigars. The term “stogie” originated in Lancaster, home of the legendary Conestoga wagon that carried families West in the 1800s. The wagon masters would often smoke long cigars using coarser leaves that gave off a distinctly strong aroma. These cigars became known as “stogies,”and the rest is history.
The state is currently home to virtually all of the largest cigar retailers, such as Best Cigar Prices, highlighting the level of importance placed upon cigars within the state culture. With premium tobacco under fire from regulators, it’s remarkable that PA is the only state that took the job creation approach by not taxing most tobacco products, allowing for not only innovation in the cigar industry, but also for bringing jobs to the state surrounding the manufacturing and distribution of cigars. It’s no wonder some of the best Tobacco comes from Pennsylvania.
Recently there has been an upswing in cigar manufacturers using Pennsylvania tobaccos. Sam Leccia’s Luchador, George Rico American Puro and Carlos Torano’s Vault D-042 (see top right of this article), have all been released within the last year, have been highly rated, and prominently feature tobaccos from Pennsylvania.
It’s well worth it to purchase a STOGIE that contains Pennsylvania tobacco, it’s from the one state that has supported cigars for centuries.