Sometimes a cigar isn’t just a cigar

“[James B.] Duke’s only failure came when he attempted to integrate the cigar industry into his increasingly extensive fold. Cigars, he found, fit poorly with his system of mechanization, standardization and national marketing…. Production of cigars would remain labor intensive, skilled work; they continued to be distributed in small quantities to specialized dealers….

“The cigar represented the past, the cigarette the future. [But] for Duke, who had transformed his father’s plug business into a multinational giant, it was all just tobacco. His aggressive moves to incorporate the full range of tobacco products would ultimately bring him into conflict with the federal government.”

From “The Cigarette Century: The Rise, Fall and Deadly Persistence of the Product that Defined America”  (2007) by Allan M. Brandt

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