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The greatest use of tobacco is for smoking, chewing perhaps comes next to this. However, its use has spread faster and farther than any language or religion and is found throughout the realms of civilization and barbarism in spite of repeated opposition from the peoples of medical and religious professions. The different species of tobacco plant are all native to the Americas. The plant was introduced into Europe towards the end of the 16th century.

Physical and economic conditions. Few commercial plants are found to grow over so wide a range of the earth's surface. It is profitably cultivated in southern Canada; it is profitable too in south India. Indeed, tobacco production extends from 52° latitude in England and 45° in north America to 40° in the Southern hemisphere.

Though grown widely in a large number of tropical and temperate countries it grows best under sub-tropical conditions. The most favorable conditions for tobacco plants are fairly constant temperature of 21°C to 27°C, absence of frost, regular water supply, a humid atmosphere and well drained soils which are rich in plant foods and not too acid. The tobacco plant quickly responds to changes in weather and soil conditions. Therefore, the thickness, elasticity, texture, colour, size, perfection, the weight of leaf and the flavor of tobacco are determined by the character of precipitation, humidity, temperature, the quality of soil and also curing, the last factor, however depends on human skill.

Tobacco farming is mostly carried on under intensive conditions. Since tobacco is a soil-exhausting crop, it requires intensive fertilization. The process of picking, curing sorting, grading and packing requires the supply of highly skilled labour force. The plants require intensive care, and therefore, is not fit for extensive farming.

Producing regions. Tobacco is - by a large number of countries all over the world tinder various conditions. On the basis of commercial production the following regions may be broadly identified.

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