At the peak of the tobacco trade in the 1920's, 14,000 workers were employed in the "Tobaccoshops" of Kavala, i.e. half of the tobacco workforce of Greece. This workforce was characterized by diversity and multiculturalism.

The first strike on Ottoman territory was organized already in 1879 by Greek, Turkish, Bulgarian, Jewish and Armenian tobacco workers. In 1908, they created "Evdaemonia" ("Blessedness"), the first tobacco workers union with 4,000 members of Christian, Muslim and Jewish origin.

Women were artificially excluded from this first workers union. Nevertheless, their work in the tobacco industry contributed significantly in the emancipation of women in Greece and their claim not only for labour but also for political rights.

Moreover, the struggles of the tobacco workers led in 1926 in the foundation of the first Insurance Fund in Greece, the Tobacco Workers Insurance Fund.

Important outcome of the dynamic tobacco movement was also the election in 1934 of Mitsos Partsalidis, the first "Red Mayor" in Greece.