Since the mid-19th century, Kavala was distinguished as an international node in the trade of eastern type tobacco.

Basmas was established as the finest tobacco variety in the world. It was (and still is) produced in the inland of Kavala and therefore, a great number of tobacco companies of local, central-European or even American interests, moved into the city. They were mainly dealing with the tobacco processing and later, through the port, with the exportation in the World Markets.

Tobacco was transported to the ports of the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, in the Arab countries, Northern Europe and Scandinavia, North and South America, the Far East, India and Congo, while since 1829 sub-consulates and consulates were located in Kavala in order to support the commercial activities of their respective citizens.

At the peak of the tobacco trade in the 1920's, Kavala became the primary exporting port of Greece in terms of foreign exchange inflows with four times the exports of Thessaloniki. Sixty Tobacco Companies with 160 "Tobaccoshops" were settled in the city, employing a "colourful" crowd of 14,000 employees, half of Greece's workforce.

Nowadays, the Tobacco Economy of Kavala and of its inland has significant shrunk, following the international trends and tobacco politics. Nevertheless, the descendants of this extrovert activity continue dynamically an almost 200-year-old tradition.

The History of Tobacco in Kavala is inextricably connected with its buildings, streets and architecture as well as with the personal or family history of every citizen whose roots in the city go back to the '50s and '60s or even earlier.

Kavala's City Hall is hosted in the historical building of the M.L. HERZOG et Cie offices, a company that was representing the interests of the Austro-Hungarian Tobacco Monopoly.

The Tobacco Museum of Kavala, the Municipal Tobacco Warehouse which nowadays hosts Art Exhibitions, the Tobacco Workers' Monument in remembrance of the memorable and bloody struggles of the tobacco workers, the City's Mall housed in a regenerated tobacco warehouse, even the smell of tobacco that soaked up in the walls of the old tobacco warehouses, they are all memories and testimonies of a bright and glorious past.

At the same time, they constitute the fertile ground and starting point for the quest of new financial and cultural activities, collaborations and exchanges in the Balkans and in Europe.