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Hoquiam Leads in Smokeless Tobacco Sales


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Hoquiam Washington number one in chewing tobacco salesEven though the rest of the United States was experiencing the worst of times in the Great Depression in 1930, the timber industry in the Pacific Northwest continued to thrive, while experience some cutbacks, in contrast to the rest of the United States.

While the families that were responsible for these industries continued to bank huge caches of American dollars, tobacco sales also continued to mimic the same growth geographically in tandem with logging efforts.

In fact, according to a top sales associate for the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, one community, Hoquiam - a small town in Washington State – has led all other cities in the United States in smokeless tobacco sales per capita since 1933.

Respectfully referred to as, “Snuff,” chewing tobacco flourished amongst timber workers as a safe alternative to cigarettes or other lighted versions of tobacco for safety reasons.

Interestingly enough, even though the timber industry has been on a steady decline in the last two decades, chewing tobacco sales have continued to stay strong.

The greater timber industry has blamed the failure of this otherwise recession-proof industry to the declaration of the spotted owl as an endangered species.

Now, even with the continued closure of most of the sawmills in the Pacific Northwest and some of the highest unemployment rates in Washington State, this geographical area still rates as number one in chewing tobacco sales, even though country-wide, Washington is only rated fourteen in the top 15 selling states for smokeless tobacco.

Chewing tobacco certainly has left its mark on these communities as new generations of tobacco chewers help to support sales. It might surprise most folks that one out of ten tobacco chewers in Washington State are female.

For me, I don’t smoke, drink, chew or go out with girls who do.


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