NASHVILLE, TN. (AP) - Smokeless tobacco is making a comeback, and Tennessee farmers, factory workers and consumers are playing a part.
Two manufacturers with a large presence in Tennessee - R.J. Reynolds and Altria Group through its subsidiary Philip Morris USA - are battling for market dominance. Together they already control 90% of the American smokeless tobacco sector with brands such as Skoal and Kodiak.
According to The Tennessean, state farmers have eliminated 40% of acreage devoted to burley tobacco for cigarettes, but are expanding by 22% their tobacco fields that are used for chewing.
Altria Group owns the 100-year-old U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co. factory near the state Capitol in Nashville. R.J. Reynolds runs its smokeless operations out of a Memphis plant.