Monday, November 28, 2011

Tobacco industry glossary and acronyms

If you plan to investigate the tobacco impact on your health to the very details, you will definitely review the disclosed documents from Tobacco Industry. These documents often contain unique terms, acronyms and phrases unfamiliar to people who work outside the industry. This post is bringing together most of the tobacco industry-related terms for your convenience.


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Aging - A mild state of fermentation.

Air-cured tobaccos - Are dried naturally, sheltered from sunlight. This drying is carried out on the whole plant or as individual leaves reach maturity. There are generally five crops in a season.  Sugar produced by the plants is degraded during the three months treatment.

American blends - These blends have the following components: Virginia, Burley and Oriental in variable proportions to which a “sauce” consisting of humidifying and sugar elements is added. These blends are finally sprayed with aromatic flavors.
Aromatics - Additives used to flavor tobacco, including cherry, apple, orange, chocolate, coffee, and whisky flavors.

Band - The ring of paper with the name of the cigar brand wrapped near the closed head of the cigar and usually held on with vegetable based glue.

Barrel - The main body of the cigar.

Binder - The portion of a tobacco leaf that is rolled around the filler to hold it together.

Blend - A mixture of tobacco varieties. The purpose of creating a blend is to produce a type of tobacco that meets a customer's specifications of quality, flavor and aroma.

Blended cigarettes - Most of the cigarettes smoked today are blended, which means they are made with a mixture of tobacco varieties. The main types are American-blend, Oriental-blend, German-blend, English-blend (or Virginia), Maryland and dark cigarettes. 

Blending - Mixing different varieties and grades of tobacco in order to produce a predetermined, uniform blend that meets a customer's specifications of quality, flavor and aroma. The tobaccos are blended according to specific formulas or recipes that dictate the percentage of each type and grade to be used. 

Bloom - A fine white powder that forms on the wrapper of the cigar caused by the oils that exude from the tobacco. It can be gently brushed off with a small camel hair brush, though there is no need to do so. Bloom indicates that the cigar is alive, maturing as it should inside a well maintained humidor. Bloom should not be confused with mold. Mold is bluish-green and stains the wrapper. Mold usually indicates that a humidor is too warm or has excessive levels of humidity.

Blue mold - Blue mold is a damaging fungus that forms on the tobacco leaf and can ruin the crop. It is a considerable problem where there is a lot of humidity or rain.

Briar Pipe - The name is a corruption of the French word "bruyere", or heath tree, a low shrub found throughout Europe, primarily around the Mediterranean. The true briar is only made out of the very hard, dry root of the mature shrub which may be anything up to 250 years old.

Bright - A type of cigarette tobacco grown from Florida to Virginia, flue cured without direct contact of fumes, commonly used to give smoothness, mildness, and color to the blend.

British Flake and Ready Rubbed - The tobacco leaves are compacted under great pressure and heat is applied for some days. The tobacco cakes are then removed from the press and cut into thin slices on a guillotine. The pipe smoker breaks the flakes up in the palm of the hand to the texture that suits the pipe and style of smoking. This type of tobacco produces a cool slow burning smoke.

Bunch - The mix of filler and binder leaves before they are rolled into a wrapper.

Burley - Highly developed plants, the culture of which has recently expanded. This type of tobacco does not ferment like the "Dark", but generally "matures". Burley, though not very aromatic, is very useful in blending.

Cased Burley - Burley strip tobacco which has been sprayed with casing, a flavoring solution, after drying.

Casing - A solution of flavoring additives used for spraying onto tobacco or stems.

Cap - A circular piece of wrapper leaf cigar tobacco that is placed at the head of the cigar to secure the wrapper. Cuban cigar caps have a distinctive three to four-layer circular look that distinguishes them from cheaper counterfeit look-a-likes.

Chaveta (roller's knife) - The knife used in a cigar factory for cutting the wrapper leaf.

Cigarette Rod – The combined form of blended tobacco wrapped in a cigarette paper.

Clay Pipe - These pipes do smoke quite hot but one trick is to dip the pipe in cold water and shake of the excess before filling and lighting, Clay's tend to give an earthy taste to the tobacco, quite unusual but not unpleasant.

Coal – The burning cone at the lighted end of cigarette.

Corncob - Normally associated with the great smoking country of America. Daniel Boone was said to have smoked a "Missouri Meerschaum." As the name suggests the corncob pipe is made from a corn cob, now specially grown hybrid cobs are cultivated for the making of these pipes. The cobs are dried for around 2 years before being treated and coated. One cob normally makes two pipes. The corncob pipe is very light weight and porous and adds a certain flavor to the tobacco smoked.

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Corojos - Plants chosen to provide wrapper leaves and grown under a gauze sunscreen.

Curing - Immediately after harvesting, tobacco is cured to remove all the natural sap from the leaves so that it can be further processed. There are four primary curing methods: air-curing, flue-curing, fire-curing, and sun-curing; but all of them focus on regulating the rate at which moisture is removed from the tobacco.

Dark blends - Consisting of dark tobaccos from various origins (France, South America, Africa and Asia) and Oriental. Generally, they do not contain additives or "sauce".

Dark tobaccos - Are generally quite developed plants which, initially, were the most widely spread in the world. When used for cigar making, the leaf is subjected to a second treatment-fermentation.

DIET -Dry Ice Expanded Tobacco.

Dryer - A unit which dries, that is, removes moisture from tobacco, or blended leaf by exposing the product to heated air. The dryer may be a long oven through which a belt moves, or a rotating cylinder through which heated air is passed.

Dry Patch – The area of the tipping paper in cigarette where no tipping adhesive is applied. This allows air flow entering from the corresponding tipping paper perforation holes to pass freely into the plug wrap layer underneath.

Entubar - A rolling method that originated in Cuba. Rather than booking the filler leaves, the roller folds each individual filler leaf back on itself, then bunches the leaves together. Proponents of this method say it creates superior air flow through the cigar, which results in a more even draw and burn.

Escaparates - Cooling cabinets in which cigars are kept at the factory for a few weeks after they have been rolled.

Expanded Tobacco (ET) -Tobacco which has been increased in size in a process of cellular expansion followed by freeze drying. Expanding increases tobacco volume by +/-100% but greatly reduces flavor. Analogous procedure to "puffed wheat" and "puffed rice." Expanded tobacco is used to reduce tobacco weight per cigarette and reduce FTC tar readings.

Fermentation - There are primarily two types of fermentation, natural and forced fermentation. The duration of the process ranges from two days to two months or more. Natural fermentation, sometimes known as aging, is a chemical reaction caused by moisture and warm temperatures; it occurs when tobacco is packaged in bales or hogsheads. Natural fermentation generally gives tobacco a more uniform color and a milder taste. Forced fermentation involves placing tobacco in huge stacks so that the chemical reaction caused by the moisture and warm temperatures is intensified by the pressure the tobacco is under. Forced fermentation generally gives tobacco a more uniform color, as well as a smoother aroma and taste.

Filler - Tobacco used as the main body or core of a cigar that provides the significant portion of the taste.

Filter efficiency – The percentage of the incoming smoke or smoke components to be removed by a filter.

Fire-cured - Is a type akin to Dark; its natural drying is completed by a wood-fired fumigation (oak is used by the traditionalists). 

Flag - An alternative to a cap that involves shaping the wrapper leaf at the head of the cigar so that it secures the wrapper in place. Sometimes a flag can be tied off in a pig-tail or curly head.

Flake, Plug and Bar tobaccos - After the tobacco leaves have been prepared, they are put into molding presses under great pressure, usually by means of hydraulics, and pressed into cakes.  The cakes are then placed into retaining presses and cooled or heated. The amount of pressure and heat will determine the final tobacco color. Flake tobaccos can be sold in slices, or as ready rubbed flake and partly broken flake. 

Flue-cured - Represented by the majority of warm-air dried Virginia. The cultivation is expanding rapidly. The plant is average in size and six crops are produced yearly. Each crop is taken to a bulk curing barn where it is dried by warm air for seven days. The leaves become yellow as a result of a rapid rise of temperature. Among the Virginia are the aromatics and the fillers, the latter used as a major ingredient to balance the mixture. The blends and the taste-lines: Each industrial blend is the result of the scientific compositions of several grades from the same tobacco and from different types (from 20 to 40 in commercial products).

Foot - The open end of the cigar you light.

Frog-eye - A whitish spot on tobacco leaves that gives the tobacco a ripe appearance.  The spot is actually the result of a disease.

FUBYAS - Acronym stands for "First Usual Brand Younger Adult Smoker," a tobacco industry term for young people.

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Hand - Individual tobacco leaves hung together after harvest and tied at the top. These hands are piled together to make a bulk for fermentation.

Hand-rolled (Handmade) - A cigar made entirely by hand, usually constructed with a high quality wrapper and long filler and binder as opposed to cut filler used in machine made and cigar seconds.

Head - the closed end of the cigar, or the end you cut and smoke.

Humidor - Can be an entire room or a small box that is designed to preserve fragile cigars. An optimum humidity and temperature level in a humidor is 70/70, or 70 percent humidity and 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius).

Latakia - a product of the Eastern Mediterranean used in certain mixtures to give a distinctive flavor.

Leaf - These leaves grow just below the tips of the tobacco plant and are characterized by their relative length; they are firm and heavy-bodied. Nicotine content can range from 3% to over 3.5%, while the sugar level is around 15%.

Ligero - One of the three basic types of filler tobacco. The name means "light" in Spanish.

Long filler - A term used to designate filler tobacco that runs the length of the body of the cigar, as opposed chopped up pieces know as "cut-filler."

Lugs - Lugs are the leaves around the bottom part of the stalk. They are characterized by their small size, thinness and brightness. They make up 13% of the plant’s total weight. The nicotine content is around 2.5%, and the sugar level varies from 12-20%.

Mainstream Smoke – The smoke exiting from the mouth end of a cigarette during puffing.

Meerschaum Pipe - Pipes have been made from this material since the beginning of the 18th century. Meerschaum pipes mainly originate from Turkey where the material is mined. It is actually a mineral, a rock made up of magnesium which can be found at a depth of around 30 feet. The quality of this material in the use of pipe making is that it is lightweight and very porous; it is also very easy to work with as regards to carving. The meerschaum pipe takes on a lovely color of a golden brown as it is smoked over the years, adding extra beauty to the pipes appearance.

Mixtures - their unique character comes from careful blending of many different exotic tobaccos and plain natural Virginia and Shags. Some of the more exotic tobaccos in these mixtures have been previously pressed and darkened and may include rich flavorings to enhance the aroma and taste. 

Mold - The wooden form used by cigar rollers to give shape to a finished bunch of cigar tobacco. Some moulds have two parts which are then placed in a press.

Oriental - Grown largely in the Balkans and eastern Mediterranean; distinctively aromatic.

Perique - Grown largely around New Orleans; subject to a curing process known to just one family, perique is used as a seasoner for other pipe tobaccos, providing a distinctive taste and aroma.

Perforation – The creation of tear-drop shaped holes in the tipping paper by laser beam to introduce air into the smoke stream.

Plug wrap - the paper that goes around the cigarette filter.

Priming (Sandleaves) - These are the leaves at the bottom of the stalk. They are the first leaves to ripen and the first to be harvested. They make up about 12% of the plant's weight. Primings contain only 1.5 to 2% nicotine and 5 to 10% sugar. 

Puff Count (PC) – The number of puffs taken on a cigarette smoked to a prescribed butt length under standard smoking conditions.

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Puffed tobacco - Expanded tobacco, created using gaseous processes like those used to puff wheat or rice used in cereals.

Rag – Blended, usually cases, and cut tobacco prior to roasting. Rag normally contains about 20% moisture.

Recon - Reconstituted tobacco.

Ring gauge - A standard industry measurement for the diameter of a cigar in 64ths of an inch. A 50 ring gauge cigar is 50/64ths of an inch thick. 

Ripper Shorts - Reusable tobacco removed from rejected cigarettes in the ripping operation. Contains many short pieces.

Rosado - A Spanish term that means "rose-colored." It is used to describe the reddish tint of some Cuban-seed wrapper.

Seco - One of three basic types of filler tobacco. The name means "dry" in Spanish.

Sidestream smoke – The smoke exiting from any part of the cigarette except from the mouth end during puffing.

Shade grown - Prime tobacco leaf grown under cheesecloth tenting called a "tapado" to produce a thin, elastic tobacco leaf that is most often used in premium cigars.

Shoulder - The area of a cigar where the cap meets the body. If you cut into the shoulder, the cigar will begin to unravel.

Smoking leaf - "Smoking leaves" grow just above the middle of the stalk. They make up around 7.5% of the plant's total weight. These leaves ripen to a bright orange color and contain about 3% nicotine. The sugar content is about the same as in the lugs.

Smoking Time - A 5-inch cigar with a 50 ring gauge, such as a Robusto, should provide anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes of smoking pleasure. A double corona, a 7 1/2-inch cigar with a 50 ring gauge, may give over an hour's worth of smoking time. A thinner cigar, such as a Lonsdale, smokes in less time than a cigar with a 50 ring gauge.

Spanish Cedar - The kind of wood that is used to make most cigar boxes and humidors.

Spill - A strip of cedar used to light a cigar when using a candle or a fluid lighter, both of which can alter the taste of the cigar.

Stem - The midrib of a tobacco leaf.

Sugar - Sugars occur naturally in tobacco. Darker wrappers, such as maduros, contain more sugar, making them sweeter.

Sun-cured - Represent almost the totality of Oriental tobaccos. Their cultivation is confined to Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria, and to a lesser degree to adjoining countries. The essential characteristics of oriental tobaccos are their aromatic qualities and a high sugar content (10 to 15%). The smoke is generally mild and this characteristic brings a binding and homogeneous effect used in most mixtures.

Sun grown - Tobacco grown in direct sunlight that creates a thicker leaf with thicker veins that's often used in more hearty tasting cigars like maduros.

Tapado - A cheesecloth tent under which shade-grown wrapper leaf is cultivated.

Tar – Total particulate matter in the cigarette minus the nicotine and water content.

Tipping adhesive – The adhesive applied to the tipping paper substrate of cigarette which allows it to bond to the filter, the cigarette rod, and for the tipping paper lap seam.

Tipping paper – Paper that is wrapped around the filter, joining it to the cigarette rod.

Tips - The tips are the leaves growing at the top of the tobacco plant. They are relatively narrow and pointed, but are usually heavier-bodied than leaves lower down the plant. Tips represent  around  18%  of  the  plant's  total  weight,  and  contain  a  nicotine  level  of  about 3.5%. 

Tobacco Plant - One of the most common plants is Virginia tobacco. It is often used in US and European 'blended' cigarettes, and in particular in the so-called 'English' Virginian-type cigarettes. The heavier grades are used in various kinds of mixtures for pipe smoking. Flue-cured tobacco is grown in more than seventy countries. The major exporting countries are China, the USA, Brazil, India, and Zimbabwe. Around 40% of the world’s tobacco is currently of a Virginian type plant. A well-grown plant reaches a total height of 160-190 cm, and will carry 18-22 harvestable leaves.

Torcedores - A person who rolls cigars.

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Turkish tobacco - One of three major types of cigarette tobacco, grown in the Mediterranean area (mainly Turkey, Greece, Lebanon, and Yugoslavia, air cured, commonly used to give extra aroma and richness to the blend.

Twist and Spun Cut - Full bodied, powerful and rich, they are made in the traditional style developed by sailors, spun to form a rope. Usually only stocked by specialist tobacconists. 

Virginia blends - This taste is the oldest known. It is characterized by the pure Virginia blends, originally without additives.

Wrapper - A tobacco leaf of varying quality that is wrapped around the finished bunch and binder to complete the cigar. Leaves with elasticity are used to restrain the filler within the cigar. Good wrappers usually have no visible veins. Colors vary according to the maturing process.

WSC - Acronym for "whole smoke condensate."

YAFS - Acronym referring to "Young Adult Female Smokers."

YAMS - Acronym for "Young Adult Male Smokers"

YAX - Acronym referring to both young adult male and female smokers combined, as one term.

Sources and Additional Information:

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