Cigarette and Tobacco:
Questions - Answers
Excerpts from General Information Reference Manual
Consumer Information Center
Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation,
TOBACCO (Tobacco General Questions)
"What TYPES OF TOBACCO are our cigarettes made from?"
Our cigarettes are made of blends of burley, flue-cured and Oriental tobaccos.
"What is the DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AMERICAN AND ORIENTAL tobaccos?"
American tobacco varieties in cigarettes are flue-cured, grown in Virginia and the Carolinas, and burley, grown in Kentucky and Tennessee. Oriental tobacco has much smaller leaf and is not grown in the U.S., but is produced in Turkey and nearby countries. Each of the tobaccos have very different visual and taste characteristics.
"Does Brown & Williamson purchase FOREIGN-GROWN tobaccos?" Oriental tobacco can only be purchased abroad. Brown & Williamson spends millions of dollars for American tobaccos each year, although we also buy a small percentage from other countries. All of Brown & Williamson's export activities result in selling more American tobacco.
(If pressed about our SPECIFIC TOBACCO PURCHASES:
For competitive reasons, we do not discuss the specifics of our leaf purchases, future intentions, or blends.)
Is FOREIGN-GROWN tobacco REGULATED by the government?"
The United States Department of Agriculture examines all imported tobacco for compliance with U.S. standards.
"Is tobacco a government SUBSIDY CROP?"
No. Much like other federal programs, this program guarantees farmers a minimum price for their tobacco in return for strict limits on production.
Unlike government price support programs for other farm commodities, any losses on tobacco under the loan program are paid by the farmers and tobacco companies, not by the government.
The money to finance the loans comes from a charge on the sale of tobacco by the farmers. Most tobacco farmers are small family farmers, many of whom make their living from tobacco. Without the program, they might be unable to earn a living from farming altogether.
"What is the name of the federal program?"
The Federal Support and Production Control of Leaf Tobacco.
"What PESTICIDES are used in your tobacco?"
The United States Department of Agriculture approves and regulates pesticide application to farm crops, including tobacco. Our company purchases tobacco in the form of cured leaf through a government supervised warehouse auction system. We do not know which approved pesticides may have been applied by the grower.
If consumer requests the USDA's address or phone number, give the following:
Mr. Mike Espy, Secretary of Agriculture
United States Department of Agriculture
14th Street and Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250
Phone #: (202) 720-3631