World’s Top Tobacco Brands by Revenue & Market Cap (2024)

Top Tobacco Brands


Worldlywiser explores the world’s leading tobacco brands without losing sight of how devastating tobacco can be for the people and the economy. We urge readers to quit smoking and reclaim life. 

Tobacco is anything but healthy. 

Each year, it kills 50% of its users, amounting to 8 million deaths yearly, as per the World Health Organization (WHO). Tobacco takes a toll of US$ 1.4 trillion yearly on the global economy, about 1.8% of the world’s annual gross domestic product (GDP).

Surprisingly, the tobacco industry is a global juggernaut, generating USD 941 billion in revenue in 2023, and growing at a CAGR of 2.55% from 2023 to 2028

In 2023, China led the tobacco market with a staggering revenue of USD 293.8 billion while the market size in India stood at USD 12.73 billion, growing at a CAGR of 4.60% from 2023 to 2028. 

The tobacco companies drive growth through new product launches and hard-hitting marketing campaigns targeting new users, particularly teens. The addictive nature of nicotine, found in tobacco, also contributes to increasing tobacco usage. 

According to the World Medical Journal, the largest tobacco companies collaborate to lobby for lenient regulations and lower taxes. They even resort to concealing, destroying, and manipulating scientific evidence on anything that goes against their business interests.  

Top Tobacco Brands

Governments, public health organizations, and advocates continue to grapple with the challenges posed by the tobacco industry. From regulations to campaigns, efforts are underway to contain the impact. Yet, tobacco brands continue to thrive. Here is a list of the top 10 of them.

Top Tobacco Brands By Sales

Tobacco Companies  Latest Sales Figures Available
China National Tobacco Corporation USD 2,200,550 Million (2021)
British American Tobacco Plc  USD 567,069 Million (2022)
Imperial Brands Plc USD 42.2 Billion (2023) 
Philip Morris International USD 31.762 billion (2022)
Japan Tobacco USD 20.2 Billion (2023)

Top Tobacco Brands by Market Cap

Tobacco Companies Latest Figures Available 
Philip Morris International USD 145.38 Billion (2022)
Altria Group  USD 87.9 Billion (2022) 
British American Tobacco  USD 78.328 Billion (2023)
Indian Tobacco Company  USD 67.39 Billion (2022)
Japan Tobacco  USD 51.5 Billion (2023) 

China National Tobacco Corporation (CNTC):

  • Founded: 1982 (41 years ago) 
  • Headquarters: Beijing, China
  • Area served: China and Parts of Asia 
  • Owner: Chinese Central Government

A little-known Chinese state-owned company is the world’s largest tobacco brand by sales ($2,200,550 million as of 2021). The China National Tobacco Corporation (CNTC) produces and sells 2.5 trillion sticks annually through 130 factories across China and 34 offshore manufacturing units, sales offices, and specialized procurement companies. The company offers all types of cigarettes in all cigarette sizes

CNTN holds a 44% global market share, with a dominant 96% in China. The primary market for CNTN is China (99%), with 1% exported to Asian markets. As the domestic market is quickly saturating, the tobacco brand is expanding to Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, the USA, and Latin America. 

CNTN owns 900+ brands, with the largest, Hongtashan, contributing 4% to its total sales. Chunghwa, a premium cigarette brand, is among other popular choices. Guess what? The body, State Tobacco Monopoly Administration that runs CNTN, is a signatory of the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Ironically, the body is responsible for controlling the tobacco endemic in China. 

Popular Tobacco Brands
Hongta Tobacco Group Hongtashan, Hongmei, Yuxi
Hongyun Honghe Group Honghe, Yunyan, Lesser Panda
China Tobacco Hunan Industrial Company BaiSha, Furongwang, Furong
China Tobacco Hubei Industrial Company Red Golden Dragon, Yellow Crane Tower
China Tobacco Henan Industrial Company Hongqiqu
Shanghai Tobacco Group  Double Happiness, Chunghwa, Zhongnanhai

Data Courtesy: Tobacco Tactics  

Philip Morris International:

  • Founded: 2008; 15 years ago
  • Headquarters: Stamford, Connecticut, U.S. 
  • Area served: Worldwide (except the US)
  • Market Capital: USD 145.38 Billion

With USD 145.38 Billion, Philip Morris International (PMI) is the largest tobacco brand by market cap as of 2023. Its yearly revenue of US$31.762 billion (2022) is equally impressive. PMI came into being in 2008 as a spin-off of Altria Group, formerly Philip Morris Companies Inc., founded in 1847. 

PMI sells cigarettes, and new nicotine and tobacco products in 180 markets, excluding the US. The company commands a 28.4% market share for cigarette and heated tobacco products (HTPS), and owns six of the 15 best-selling cigarette brands and 39 production facilities globally. By retail volume, PMI enjoyed a 12% share of the cigarette market, a 2% fall from 2018  

PMI is gradually shifting to a smoke-free future with an investment of USD 10.5 billion in R&D of smoke-free products. The tobacco company acquired Swedish Match, a leader in oral nicotine delivery, in 2022. As of 2023, the company sells smoke-free products in 82 markets globally, accounting for 36.2% of its total net revenues. Also, PMI has ventured into the nutrition and health industry with Vectura.  


Marlboro Philip Morris L&M
Chesterfield Basic Parliament
Merit Benson & Hedges Sampoerna


Papastratos PMFTC, Inc. Rothmans
Sampoerna Swedish Match

Altria Group Inc

  • Founded: 2008 (15 years ago) 
  • Headquarters: Henrico County, Virginia, U.S.
  • Area served: Worldwide (Mainly the US)
  • Annual Revenue: USD 21.111 billion as of 2021

Altria walks into our tobacco brands list with a market cap of USD 87.9 billion and revenue of USD 21.111 billion as of 2021. The Fortune 200 Company is a team of 6,000 employees, 303,000 retailers across the 50 states, and 1,200+ tobacco growers

Altria offers Smokeable Products, Oral tobacco products, and Wine globally but the US is its biggest market. Altria’s smokable products include cigarette brands, cigars, and pipe tobacco under brands like Marlboro, Copenhagen, Benson & Hedges, Chesterfield, and more. Altria owns Marlboro in the US while PMI manages it in overseas markets. 

Likewise, its oral tobacco portfolio features moist smokeless tobacco products (MSTs) under brands, such as Copenhagen, Skoal, and Helix (on!). Altria burst onto the scene in 2003 from Philip Morris Companies Inc., as a rebranding effort. Five years later, PMI was carved out of Altria as an independent company.  

The tobacco company is transitioning towards smoke-free products with subsidiaries like U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company (moist smokeless tobacco manufacturer), Helix Innovations (oral nicotine pouches), and NJOY (an FDA-approved e-vapor brand). 

However, Altria has had its share of controversies, notably the accusations of civil fraud and racketeering in August 2006. (Click for the Judgment.) It was the second-highest spender on lobbying between 1998 and 2004, as per the Center for Public Integrity.


Marlboro Copenhagen Benson & Hedges Skoal
Black & Mild Chesterfield NJOY On!:


Philip Morris USA John Middleton, Inc. U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company
Helix Innovations NJOY Horizon Innovations LLC

British American Tobacco Plc 

  • Founded: 1902 (121 years ago) 
  • Headquarters: London, England, UK
  • Area served: Worldwide
  • Market Capital: USD 78.328 billion as of 2023

The USD 78,328 million market cap places British American Tobacco (BAT) among the world’s largest tobacco brands by market cap. With a revenue of £27.655 billion, it was the largest tobacco brand by sales in 2021. The tobacco brand diversified its operations and established a global presence through strategic acquisitions.   

BAT came into existence in 1902 with the collaboration of American Tobacco Company and Imperial Tobacco Company. Initially, the tobacco brand sold Imperial’s products in the US and American Tobacco’s offerings in the UK.  BAT emerged as an independent company following a U.S. Court of Appeals judgment nine years later.    

BAT has stakes in Turkey’s Tekel, Indonesia’s Bentoel Group, Colombia’s Productora Tabacalera de Colombia, Scandinavian Tobacco Group, Croatia’s TDR, and Bulgaria’s Bulgartabac. However, its biggest takeover came in 2016 when it acquired Reynolds American for USD 47 billion. With that, Newport, Lucky Strike, and Pall Mall came under BAT’s ownership. 

BAT manufactures and markets cigarettes, nicotine pouches, and e-cigarettes. With the acquisition of Canada-based OrganiGram for about £126m, the company entered the cannabis market.  

Combustible Tobacco Brands

Dunhill Newport  American Spirit Rothmans 
Lucky Strike Pall Mall Kent  Camel 

Non–combustible Tobacco Brands

Vuse Glo Velo Grizzly 

Indian Tobacco Company (ITC)

  • Founded: 1910 (113 years ago) 
  • Headquarters: Kolkata, West Bengal, India 
  • Area served: Indian subcontinent, Gulf countries 
  • Market Capital: USD 67.39 billion as of 2022

ITC boasts a market cap of USD 67.39 billion, ranking 4th globally among tobacco brands and 238th most valuable global company. The company has a 36,500-strong workforce across 60+ locations, serving the entire Indian subcontinent and the Gulf Countries.

ITC owns some of the top cigarette brands in India, including Gold Flake, Wills Navy Cut, Wills Classic, Insignia, India Kings, American Club, Players, Scissors, Capstan, and more. 

ITC began in 1910 as Imperial Tobacco Company of India, a merger of Imperial Brands and W.D. & H.O. Wills. However, it was only in 1913, the company came up with a factory in Bangalore. The name changed to India Tobacco Company in 1970 and I.T.C. Limited in 1974.

Over the years, ITC has diversified its operations into FMCG, hospitality, IT, agri-business, apparel, education, paperboards, and other sectors.  Read More  

Popular Brands

Yippee One of the leading noodle brands in India 
Ashirwad Atta One of the top Atta Brands in India  
Dark Fantasy One of the top Biscuit Brands in India 
Classmate One of the top Stationery Brands in India 

Notable Subsidiaries

ITC Infotech Landbase India Limited Technico Pty Limited
Fortune Park Hotels Limited Russell Credit Limited Sunrise Foods

Japan Tobacco

  • Founded: 1898 (125 years ago) 
  • Headquarters: Minato, Tokyo, Japan
  • Area Served: Worldwide 
  • Parent: Government of Japan 
  • Market Cap: USD 51.5B

Japan Tobacco has a market cap of USD 51.5 Billion, a 66.4% share of Japan’s tobacco market, a 52,640-strong workforce, offices in 70+ countries, and a strong presence in 130 countries. 

The Japanese state-owned company produces cigarettes, vaping products, roll-your-own tobacco, snus, and pipe tobacco for sale domestically and in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia-Pacific, and the Americas. 

JT was instituted in 1898 as a state monopoly, Imperial Japanese Tobacco Company. The name changed to Japan Tobacco and Salt Public Corporation in June 1949 and to Japan Tobacco in 1985 when it was privatized. Currently, the Japanese Ministry of Finance is legally required to maintain at least 33% stakes in the company.    

While 91% of the company’s revenue in 2023 comes from tobacco, it has forayed into processed food, pharma, and other sectors. With approval ratings of 83% of employees, JT has received Global Top Employer status for nine years on the trot.  

Suggested Reading: Women’s Choice: Best Female Cigarette Brands in India

Cigarette Brands (Worldwide)

Cabin Caster Hope Mevius
Peace Hamlet Sakura Seven Stars

Cigarette Brands (outside the US)

Camel Salem Winston
Benson & Hedges Natural American Spirit


Japan Tobacco International PT Karya Dibya Mahardhika (Indonesia)
Mighty Corporation (Philippines) Donskoy Tabak Companies (Russian)
Gallaher Group

Imperial Brands

  • Founded: 1901 (122 years ago)
  • Headquarters: Bristol, England
  • Area Served: Worldwide 
  • Parent: Government of Japan 
  • Market Cap: USD 51.5 Billion

As of 2022, Imperial Brands owns 30 production units, sells 220.9 billion sticks in 120 countries, earns USD 42.2 Billion (£32.551 billion), and holds a market cap of 20.6 Billion. (Source: Wikipedia)

Its product portfolio is as vast as it gets, including cigarettes, cigars, fine-cut rolling tobacco, rolling papers and tubes, snus, vapes, heated tobacco, and oral nicotine. 

Besides being the fourth-largest tobacco company by market share, IB is the market leader in the fine-cut tobacco and tobacco paper segments. 

Cigarette Brands

Davidoff Kool Winston Noble Fortuna

Other Brands

Blu A prominent Vape brand 
Golden Virginia World’s best-selling hand-rolling tobacco brand
Drum World’s 2nd-largest-selling fine-cut tobacco
Rizla World’s best-selling rolling paper
Zone X and Skruf Nicotine Pouches


We scurried the internet and talked to industry experts to bring you a comprehensive take on the world’s best tobacco brands. Each of these brands has its share of history, legacy, and controversies, making them stand out from the rest. While these brands continue to rake in, their role in public health discussions is under ongoing scrutiny. As the world is increasingly becoming aware of the effects of tobacco, these companies’ future largely depends on innovation, sustainability, and responsible practices.

Worldlywiser will keep you posted on the happenings in the tobacco world while urging you to stay away from tobacco. Till then, stay safe, stay informed, and stay wiser.

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