Tobacco is a highly polarised product, but it is undoubtedly one of the most common things smoked in the world. An estimated 1.3 billion people smoke tobacco in various ways. This addictive drug is still common to this day as whilst some countries impose strict regulations, it is legal almost everywhere (except Bhutan). In everyday life, smokers view smoking and cigarettes as a way to disconnect and mentally a way to alleviate daily stresses.
Whether you agree with smoking or not, Tobacco is a huge part of the economy and livelihood of many communities around the world. In Africa itself, around 90% of tobacco leaf production is found in East Africa, which highlights a huge ecosystem of people reliant on its production.
Zimbabwe, is the largest grower of tobacco in Africa, and the sixth largest grower in the world, ranked with China, India and Brazil. It is renowned for it’s specific flavour which keeps it in popular demand. The tobacco industry is half-dominated(50%) by smallholder farmers, which highlights the decentralised nature of the country’s tobacco production, making it harder to regulate and ensure it’s sustainable and fair trade.
In Kenya, the production of both raw tobacco and manufactured tobacco is an industry that has a history of high-level politics. The size of this industry is huge with estimates at around 17.4 billion cigarettes (as of 2016) manufactured per year. BAT (British American Tobacco) held an estimated 78.8% of the market share in Kenya, highlighting the huge economic share that goes into tobacco production.
Tobacco gifts can be a highly refined and creative gift that gives a taste of eliteness. Whilst all forms of tobacco contain nicotine the addictive feature, items like tobacco perfume that incorporate the sweet, smoky and mysterious notes of fragrance can be a refined gift without the danger. Luxury cigars can also be a thoughtful special experience to savour milestones like a new promotion or wedding anniversary. Paired with strong Hookah or pipes bring out the sweetness and earthiness of the dried leaves to enjoy this one-off treat.