I'm old. I remember when the air in sections of Durham carried the sweet smell of tobacco. I also remember when Winston-Salem manufactured Winston and Salem cigarettes. But those days are gone. When the president noted products made in the various states yesterday, he didn't hold up a carton of cigarettes. North Carolina's product was Cheerwine.
If your ancestors were living in North Carolina, they may have been involved in the tobacco industry. For an overview, read Teresa Leonard's Past Times column in the Raleigh News & Observer.
Below is a photo from the newspaper article, which was published July 20, 2015.