Swisher Sweets are a brand of little cigars and cigarillos produced by Swisher International. The Florida-based company says it is the largest manufacturer of cigars in the world. Since 1999, Swisher International has been operated as a private company. Swisher Sweets are available in a variety of flavors.
Like all cigars and cigarillos, Swisher Sweets are primarily a tobacco product. They are composed of a mixture of tobacco, tobacco additives and fillers. Swisher International does not make this list of specific additives available to the public and is not required to do so.
The tobacco in Swisher Sweets includes the addictive drug nicotine. Nicotine is absorbed into the bloodstream any time smoke from a Swisher Sweet cigar product or other tobacco product is inhaled. When inhaled, the nicotine causes adrenal glands to release the hormone epinephrine. Nicotine also increases levels of dopamine in the brain. This can result in long-term brain chemistry changes that are associated with addiction. Tobacco additives may enhance this effect. Evidence suggests that adolescents may be more susceptible to nicotine addiction than adults.
Swisher Sweets come in a variety of flavors, including many fruit flavors and other sweet flavors. The flavoring comes from natural and artificial flavors and is located in the paper wrapping of the cigar or cigarillo. Because advocates argue that these flavors might make these tobacco products appealing to children, legislation was passed in 2009 that gives the U.S. Food and Drug Administration expanded powers to regulate flavored tobacco products. As of 2011, only flavored cigarettes have been banned. Because of its flavored wrappings, Swisher Sweets have long been popular with marijuana smokers, who remove the tobacco from the cigar and refill the flavored paper with marijuana.
While many varieties of Swisher Sweets varieties are mass-produced and contain lower grades of tobacco, the company offers some premium varieties with higher-grade ingredients. Swisher Sweets Outlaws, a premium cigarillo, are hand-rolled in Honduras and made with sun-grown tobacco leaf and natural binders and fillers. Some Swisher Sweets cigar varieties including the Slim Panetela Natural, Long Corona Natural and Robusto Natural are also handmade in Honduras and are composed of whole-leaf long filler rather than tobacco leaf trimmings and dust.