The Snuff Tobacco Reference

Latakia Tobacco

Latakia tobacco is a processed tobacco leaf product that has as its attributes a distinctive aromatic flavour profile and a dark color as a result of a unique fire-curing process employing particular woods.1 2 3

Latakia tobacco is named for and popularly associated with the region of Syria where it was historically produced, however owing to environmental concerns there have been state restrictions on the production of such tobaccos in Syria since at least 19554 and accordingly some production has shifted to Cyprus and, to a lesser degree, Greece.5

There has been disagreement spanning centuries regarding such matters as whether Latakia is properly produced from a specific tobacco variety and, if so, whether this variety might be localised and as to which tobacco species this variety rightfully belongs, or conversely whether the term Latakia more accurately describes a production process that can be applied to most any variety of locally grown tobacco. Certainly, disparate tobacco varities and species have historically been used to produce Latakia tobacco irrespective of whether it is proper to do so.6 7

The annual output of Latakia tobacco is relatively low and the overwhelming majority is exported to the United States of America and to Great Britain8 where it is used primarily in the production of pipe tobacco, though there is also some cigarette and the occassional snuff tobacco production from Latakia.1 7 9


  1. Foreign Agriculture. Latakia Tobacco. Deane R. Hinton. Volume 13; Number 2; Issue 1949-02; Pages 44–45. 1949. Digitised version
  2. Monthly Consular Reports. Commercial and Industrial Growth of Latakia, Syria. Gabriel Bie Ravndal. Number 294; Issue 1905-03; Pages 12–13. 1905.
  3. Letter from M. E. B. Windus to John M. Westwood of British-American Tobacco Co. Ltd. dated 1982-07-13 and headed Latakia Information. Digitised version
  4. Foreign Agriculture. Syria To Continue As Buyer of U.S. Tobacco. Shackford Pitcher. Volume 15; Number 1; Issue 1977-01-03; Pages 12–13,16. 1977. Digitised version
  5. All About Tobacco. Milton M. Sherman. Pages 16–18. 1977.
  6. Pipe Lovers. Latakia Tobacco. James Morrison. Volume 1; Number 4, Issue 1949-04; Pages 124–125,141. 1946. Digitised version
  7. Foreign Commerce Weekly. Tobacco from Lebanon. Volume 8; Number 3; Issue 1942-07-18; Pages 10,39. 1942. Digitised version
  8. Foreign Crops and Markets. Exports of Latakia Tobacco From Syria and Lebanon Sharply Curtailed. United States Department of Agriculture. Volume 46; Number 14; Issue 1943-04-05; Page 306. 1943. Digitised version
  9. A Pinch of Snuff. Benson Earle Hill. Page 32. 1840. Digitised version