Xuchang is an important center of the Chinese tobacco industry, the tobacco leaf production is famous for the "the king of tobacco leaf". The region around Xuchang is the Henan’s leading tobacco-growing area, and the city has built facilities to process tobacco and make tobacco-processing machinery, Its tobacco output surpassed 38,000 tons in 2007, accounting for 15.9% of Henan's total.
Xuchang is an industrial city and has the rich history in the tobacco planting and manufacturing, which make big profit to the country. In the middle of the 1980s, Henan's tobacco took the first place in China for its quality, yield, trade quantum and export quantum. Henan was called the "big province of tobacco" and Xuchang the "tobacco city ".During his inspection in Xuchang on August 7 , 1958, Chairman Mao Zedong praised Xuchang as the "realm of tobacco". Before the founding of the New China, 80% out of the tobacco with which the British and the American tobacco companies made cigarettes came from China and 50% came from Henan.