Tobacco Wiki

Swisher has manufactured tobacco products since 1861 and ships more than two billion cigars a year to more than 70 countries. The company operates worldwide, with its headquarters in Jacksonville, Florida, with additional manufacturing facilities in Wheeling, West Virginia and Santiago, Dominican Republic.


Throughout the years, strategic acquisitions, technology improvements and a deep commitment to its partners have all enabled Swisher to maintain its position as an industry leader. Swisher is best known for its legendary Swisher Sweets cigars and classic tobacco brands such as Optimo, Goodies, King Edward and Mail Pouch. Swisher has also worked to expand its offerings with the acquisition of Drew Estate’s premium cigars and other brands in emerging categories. In ___ Swisher brought Hempire pure-hemp rolling papers and Rogue’s portfolio of Nicotine On Demand® products into the lineup.

Swisher’s five strategic businesses – Swisher Sweets Cigar Company (Large & Little/Filtered Cigars); Fat Lip Brands (Smokeless); Drew Estate (Premium Cigars); Hempire (Hemp Products); and Rogue Holdings (Modern Oral Nicotine) – provide category expertise, product knowledge and a focused approach under a renewed purpose for the company.

Swisher Sweets Original and Diamonds are the #1 and #2 best-selling large cigar in the U.S. Together, they account for more volume than the next five competitive large cigar items combined.[citation needed]

Swisher Sweets Cigar Company

Swisher Sweets

Other Brands (BLK, Leaf, Optimo, Goodies)

Fat Lip Brands



Other Brands (Gold River, Mail Pouch, Chattanooga Chew, Bowie, Lancaster, Navy, Railroad Mills, Buttercup, Square, Honey Bee)



Drew Estate

Charitable Contributions

Diversity and Inclusion

Swisher and the University of North Florida’s Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation partnered to create the Swisher Startup for Underrepresented Entrepreneurs.  This program launched in 2020 to encourage innovators and entrepreneurs from all walks of life through university online eLearning.  The top pitch winners are awarded funding to support the start or growth of their business.

Swisher Service

Formally established in 2015, Swisher Service was developed upon the motto of Building Community – From the Inside Out.  Making it as easy and convenient to volunteer, Swisher provides financial support, while employees are given the opportunity to improve the local community through service projects, Swisher Service Lunch & Learns and non-profit events.

Jacksonville University

The Swisher name has a long-standing history with Jacksonville University since its charter in 1934. Carl S. Swisher was the University's first major donor and benefactor. The Swisher Gymnasium, Swisher Library, and Swisher Theatre all represent donations from the Swisher family or company. Swisher's executives and employees have been active volunteers across Jacksonville University's campus for the past 75 years.[9][10]


Early History

Swisher traces its roots back to 1861 when David Swisher, a merchant out of Newark, Ohio, received a small cigar business in settlement of a debt. David and his four sons began to sell cigars across the Midwest from their “rolling stores” or wagons. The cigars were rolled by hand every day in a one-room “manufactury” in Newark.

In 1888, David's sons, John and Harry, bought the company from their father and renamed it Swisher Brothers. The company experienced great growth, and by 1895 the business had grown into three factories that employed over 1,000 people who hand-rolled as many as 300,000 cigars per day.

In 1913, John bought out his brother, Harry, took on his own son, Carl, and renamed the company to Jno H. Swisher & Son. About ten years later, Carl selected Jacksonville, Florida when looking for a new home for their growing business due to the area's climate, shipping facilities, and proximity to raw materials and markets. Swisher has been headquartered in Jacksonville ever since.

Growth and Consolidation

In 1923, Swisher was the first company to order rolling machines, which transformed the business by cost-effectively mass-producing cigars of great uniformity. The “fresh work” machines[clarification needed] went into operation in Jacksonville on June 20, 1924, and by the end of the 1920s, Swisher was making 100 million cigars a year.[citation needed] Swisher was also the first to wrap individual cigars in cellophane and the first to come up with a simple device for removing the cellophane by pulling the cigar band.

By 1927, the Ohio facilities were closed and consolidated into the Florida operation. Even during the Great Depression, business was good and Swisher was hiring hundreds to keep up with the demand for its cigars. Swisher's hiring record earned the company Forbes magazine's Certificate of Merit for having “the vision, courage, and faith in America's future to make large investments in the face of Depression problems.”

During the same period and largely due to its investment in money-saving machinery, Swisher was able to cut the price of its King Edward Cigar from 5 cents each to 2 for 5 cents; it had been introduced in 1918 at 10 cents. Sales soared, and by the early 1940s, King Edward was the world's number one cigar. By 1941, the Jacksonville facility was the largest cigar factory in the world under one roof.[citation needed] It also housed the nation's first industrial children's nursery, which opened in 1939.

In the following years, Swisher expanded by opening other facilities for handling, processing, storing, and shipping the huge quantities of tobacco needed in Jacksonville. In 1958, the machine-manufactured Swisher Sweets brand was introduced,[2] and by 1964, the company was making four million cigars a day that were being shipped to all 50 states and to 47 foreign countries.

Brand Partners

Swisher acquired Universal Cigar in 1986, maker of the low-priced machine-rolled Optimo.[3]

In 1966, Swisher was purchased by William Ziegler III's American Maize-Products and he became chairman of the company, where he remained until his death in 2008.[4] He was CEO by 1992 and changed the name to Swisher International. By 1995 Ziegler sold his American Maize-Products and kept (or bought back) Swisher, then took it public as Swisher International Group in December 1996.[3]

Golfer Bob Duval was endorsing the brand in 1998.[3]

In 2014, Swisher acquired Miami-based Drew Estate Tobacco Company that produces a variety of hand-rolled brands such as ACID, Herrera Estelí, Kentucky Fired Cured, Liga Privada, MUWAT, Natural, Nica Rustica, Nirvana Cameroon Selection, Tabak Especial, UnderCrown, and Java by Drew Estate. John Drew had started the company in 1996 with a 16 square feet (1.5 m2) stall at the World Trade Center. The Drew brand went through some upheaval after the acquisition, and John Drew was brought back as its president in 2016.[5][6]

Corporate Rebranding

In August 2020, Swisher International, Inc. announced the rebranding to Swisher.[8] The “S” found in Swisher’s rebranded logo wraps around the form of the Swisher Sweets Brand Shield.  This new identity embraces heritage while signaling a future of broader, modern and more diverse offerings and focus on adult consumer lifestyle.