A cigarette is a small cylinder of small cut blended tobacco leaves rolled in thin paper for smoking.
The first commercial cigarettes were made in 1865 by Washington Duke on his 300-acre farm in North Carolina. His hand-rolled cigarettes were sold to soldiers at the end of the Civil War. It was not until James Bonsack invented the cigarette-making machine in 1881 that cigarette smoking became widespread.
They could make up to 120,000 cigarettes a day. The first brand was packed in a box with baseball cards and was called Duke of Durham. The two of them started then the first tobacco company in The States. They were the largest tobacco company until the early 1900’s.
All the early tobacco companies were mainly selling cigarettes to men, but that changed during the World War I and II. The soldiers were given free cigarettes and the women got more independence when they started to work to fill up space from the men who were away. The independence for many women included start smoking cigarettes.
The widespread of smoking cigarettes increased a lot during the 20th century. In the beginning of the century the per capita annual consumption in the USA was 54 cigarettes, and less than 0.5% of the population was smoking more than 100 cigarettes per year. The consumption peaked in 1965 when 4,259 cigarettes per capita where smoked. Back then 50 % of the men and 33% of the women smoked.