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Flue Cured Tobacco


Prelims: Polity (Statutory Boards), Flue Cured Tobacco, Nicotine,

Mains: General Studies II

Why in the News ?

Government of India permits sale of Flue Cured Virginia (FCV) Tobacco on Tobacco Boards auction platform and waives off penalty on sale of excess production of registered growers and unauthorized production of unregistered growers in Karnataka.

Source: PIB

Key Facts 🗝️

In India Flue Cured Virginia (FCV) Tobacco is mainly produced in India in 2 states, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

📌 FYI on Prelims

Tobacco Board of India

  • Tobacco Board is a statutory body established under Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
  • It is headquartered in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh.
  • The main functions of the Board include regulating the production and curing of Virginia tobacco in India, improving the yields and quality of tobacco, facilitating sale of tobacco through e-auctions, undertaking various grower welfare measures and export promotion of tobacco.


  • Flue Cured Tobacco

    • Curing is a process by which the harvested tobacco leaf is made ready for the market.
    • It is a well standardized process especially in FCV tobacco to achieve the desirable qualities in the cured leaf along with the removal of moisture.
    • There are three types of tobacco curing methods traditionally used: Air-Cured, Fire-Cured, and Flue-Cured.
    • Each of the different curing methods results in a tobacco product that is distinguishable by both its nicotine content and its aroma.
  • Why is Tobacco cured?

    • To create smoking tobacco, the tobacco leaves need to be cured, or dried out.
    • The wet, green tobacco leaves of a tobacco plant initially contain too much moisture to catch fire.
    • They also have higher chlorophyll content. By releasing a certain amount of chlorophyll from the leaves during the drying out process, the natural tannins come out giving the smoked tobacco its flavor and scent.
  • Key characteristics of Flue Cured Tobacco

    • Produces primarily cigarette tobacco
    • Contains a high sugar content
    • Contains medium to high levels of nicotine
    • Rich in natural tannins which creates its distinct mild and slightly sweet flavor and aroma
  • Nicotine

    • Nicotine is a plant alkaloid that contains nitrogen, which is found in several types of plants, including the tobacco plant and can also be produced synthetically.
    • Nicotine is both a sedative and a stimulant.
    • Nicotine is used as a direct substance in e-cigarettes and the content ranges up to 36 mg/mL. Although regular cigarettes too have nicotine, but it ranges between 1.2 to 1.4 mg/mL.
    • Chewing or snorting tobacco products usually releases more nicotine into the body than smoking.
  • Harmful Effect of Nicotine

    • Nicotine on direct application in humans causes irritation and burning sensation in the mouth and throat, increased salivation, nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea.
    • It also increases pulse rate and blood pressure.


Prelims: PYQ/FAQ

Q. Which one of the following groups of plants was domesticated in the ‘New World’ and introduced into the ‘Old World’? (2019)

(a) Tobacco, cocoa and rubber
(b) Tobacco, cotton and rubber
(c) Cotton, coffee and sugarcane
(d) Rubber, coffee and wheat

Ans: a. Tobacco, cocoa and rubber

    • New World refers to the Americas, which was discovered by Christopher Columbus during his voyage attempt to India. Old World continents during 15th century included Asia, Africa and Europe.
    • Tobacco is one of the most important cash crops in American farming and is native to the North and South American continents. It first became known to the Old World when European explorers during the 15th and 16th centuries saw it being used as a medicine and as a hallucinogen by native Americans.
    • Natural rubber trees originated in Southern America and from there it was introduced to the Old World. The cocoa tree is also native to the Amazon Basin, which was introduced to the Old World from New World.
    • Cotton and Wheat were found in the Indus Valley Civilization. So both these crops were native of the Old World.

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