About John Middleton
Our roots in tobacco date back to the founding of a small Philadelphia tobacco shop in 1856 to serve customers seeking cigars and pipe tobacco.
In 2007, we joined the Altria family of companies and are guided by Altria's Mission & Values
. We continue to honor our heritage
and tradition, making premium tobacco products in Richmond, Virginia and King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, which is not far from our original Philadelphia home.
We’re proud to be a leading manufacturer and marketer of cigars and pipe tobacco. Our Black & Mild brand is the second-best selling large machine-made cigar in the U.S. Our strategy is to maximize income, while maintaining momentum on Black & Mild over time.
In 2016, the company's total retail share was 26.7 percent. We also manufacture pipe tobacco with brands including Prince Albert, Carter Hall and Middleton’s Cherry Blend.
Our industry faces big challenges. That’s why we develop high-performing and engaged employees who help us continue to deliver superior results in the future. We do so by promoting a vibrant, inclusive workplace; attracting, developing and retaining talented and diverse people; rewarding and recognizing our employees and creating a safe workplace. Learn More
We define responsibility by the actions a company takes to address society's expectations. We're guided by Altria's Mission and corporate responsibility is at the core of that Mission.
We approach responsibility by understanding our stakeholders' perspectives, aligning our business practices where appropriate and measuring and communicating our progress.
Our Products & Ingredients
We manufacture and market large machine-made cigars and pipe tobacco. Large cigars are a growing segment within the cigar category.
Our cigar brands include Black & Mild, Middleton's Cherry Blend, Gold & Mild and Prince Albert's. Our tipped cigars are filled with pipe tobacco. This began in the 1960s, when we discovered that while many people enjoyed the taste and aroma of pipe tobacco, they did not have the time or experience to smoke a pipe. This led us to develop a new product — a pipe-tobacco cigar. Black & Mild Cigarillos are made from a unique blend of both air-cured and pipe tobaccos. Our cigars are large cigars as defined by the Internal Revenue Code for excise tax purposes.
Our pipe-tobacco brands include Prince Albert, Carter Hall and Middleton's Cherry Blend.
View the complete list of John Middleton products
Tobacco is the primary ingredient in our cigars and in our pipe tobacco products.
Besides tobacco, our products include a variety of ingredients such as water, sugars, propylene glycol, glycerol, and natural and artificial flavors.
In 2000, John Middleton, and other cigar companies, entered into a Consent Decision and Order with the Federal Trade Commission. This order requires that one of five health warnings be displayed on cigar packaging and advertisements (including point of sale advertisements) on a rotating basis.
All our cigar packaging and advertisements display the health warnings in compliance with the Federal Trade Commission Consent Decision & Order
. The required warnings are:
- SURGEON GENERAL WARNING: Cigar Smoking Can Cause Cancers of The Mouth and Throat, Even If You Do Not Inhale.
- SURGEON GENERAL WARNING: Cigar Smoking Can Cause Lung Cancer and Heart Disease.
- SURGEON GENERAL WARNING: Tobacco Use Increases the Risk of Infertility, Stillbirth and Low Birth Weight.
- SURGEON GENERAL WARNING: Cigars are Not A Safe Alternative to Cigarettes.
- SURGEON GENERAL WARNING: Tobacco Smoke Increases the Risk of Lung Cancer and Heart Disease, Even in Nonsmokers.
Smoking & Health
Cigar and pipe smoking is addictive and causes serious diseases. Cigar and pipe smoking is not a safe alternative to cigarette smoking.
These have been, and continue to be, the messages of the U.S. Surgeon General and public health authorities worldwide. Current and potential cigar and pipe smokers should be guided by these messages when deciding whether or not to smoke cigars or pipes.
In this section of our website you will find information on cigar- and pipe-related messages, as well as links to government and public health authorities, including the U.S. Surgeon General's reports related to tobacco. Click on the links at the right to obtain more information about cigar and pipe smoking and health.
Cigar and pipe smoking causes serious diseases. The U.S. Surgeon General and other public health authorities have determined that:
- Cigar and pipe smoking causes cancers of the mouth and throat, even if you do not inhale.
- Cigar and pipe smoking causes lung cancer and heart disease.
- Tobacco use increases the risk of infertility, stillbirth and low birth weight.
- Cigar and pipe smoking is not a safe alternative to cigarette smoking.
- Tobacco smoke increases the risk of lung cancer and heart disease, even in nonsmokers.
According to the National Cancer Institute, "to those currently smoking cigars, quitting is the only way to eliminate the documented harm that can result from cigar smoking." For cigar and pipe smokers who have decided to quit, a wealth of expert quitting information exists from public health authorities and others. For example:
- www.smokefree.gov is a website from the National Cancer Institute which provides free information and professional help to people trying to quit using tobacco.
- 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) is a toll-free telephone number which connects callers to their state-run quitline for counseling and information about quitting tobacco.Should a state not have a quitline, callers are routed to the National Cancer Institute quitline.
- Middleton provides a free resource called QuitAssist®, designed to connect cigar and pipe smokers who have decided to quit to expert quitting information from public health authorities and others.
- Learn more about John Middleton’s efforts to support cigar and pipe smokers who have decided to quit.
Cigar and pipe smoking are addictive. The U.S. Surgeon General and other public health authorities have determined that cigar and pipe smoking are addictive. It can be very difficult to quit smoking, but this should not deter smokers who want to quit from trying to do so.
The Surgeon General of the United States has been the nation's leading spokesperson on matters of public health since 1871. Beginning in 1962, at the request of President John F. Kennedy, the Surgeon General's Office took on the task of reviewing literature on smoking and health, including cigar and pipe smoking, and began issuing periodic reports. The first report was published in 1964. Read the Surgeon General's Report on Smoking and Tobacco Use
Marketing Our Products
We’re committed to marketing our products responsibly by building relationships between our brands and adult smokers while taking steps designed to limit reach to unintended audiences.
John Middleton is guided by Altria Group’s Mission, as well as Altria's Code of Conduct. We primarily compete in the U.S. large machine-made cigar category with Black & Mild. We design our marketing programs to enhance brand awareness, recognition and loyalty among adult tobacco smokers to grow market share.
We work hard to market our products to adult smokers and to limit the reach of our materials to unintended audiences. We verify that smokers are 21 or older before they receive branded one-to-one communications, enter a brand website or attend a consumer engagement program.
- One-to-one Communications - We use direct mail and email to support the launch of products, invite adult tobacco smokers to consumer engagement programs, announce brand promotions and deliver coupons and other communications. To help execute one-to-one consumer communications, we maintain a secure database of qualified adult tobacco smokers that are age-verified and have told us they would like to hear from us. A person may request to no longer receive communications from us at any time.
- Consumer Websites - Our age-restricted brand website enables adult tobacco smokers to interact with the Black & Mild brand. We use online communications to build brand equity, deliver news and provide promotional support.
- Consumer Marketing Activities - At times, we offer consumer engagement programs that reinforce brand equity, support the launch of products and deliver promotions to adult tobacco smokers.
- Determining Magazine Advertising Placement - We advertise in magazines to build awareness of our brands with adult tobacco consumers. When selecting the magazines, we're careful to pick those publications that are predominately read by adults. Where we use print advertising (newspapers, magazines, periodicals or other publications), we are guided by the Food and Drug Administration’s proposed definition of the term "adult publication". Under this standard, an adult publication is one:
- whose readers younger than 18 years of age constitute 15 percent or less of the total readership as measured by competent and reliable survey evidence; and
- that is read by fewer than 2 million persons younger than 18 years of age as measured by competent and reliable survey evidence.
- If a magazine doesn't meet these criteria, we won't advertise in it.
We offer trade programs to retailers and wholesalers that help them responsibly manage the cigar category. Our retail trade program is built on effective category management principles, including:
- merchandising our products in an organized way;
- having our brands in-stock and available;
- having our most popular brands in the preferred positions;
- clearly communicating price and promotional offers; and
- deterring access by underage purchasers.
The program also includes several features to help prevent underage access to tobacco products, including:
- training store personnel who sell tobacco products using We Card® or equivalent training;
- displaying We Card or equivalent signage;
- using an age verification tool; and
- placing retail signage that tells adults not to buy tobacco products for kids.
We also limit the number of Middleton signs at retail.
We do not pay for or endorse any placement of our products or brand imagery in any movies, television shows, video games or entertainment media. We have a long-standing practice of refusing requests for product placement or use of our brand imagery and have taken legal action where appropriate.