In my youth, we grew 5 acres tobacco and I helped on a couple other farms. (USA, Wisconsin)
I doubt that you can grow anything resembling decent cigarette tobacco in Canada.
(We couldn't in Wisconsin. Ours was used as cigar wrappers.)
(I do agree that quitting smoking makes the most sense.)
We never wore gloves and tobacco is all seriously hands on. Never heard of any illness
from tobacco before except back ache.
As far as "drying," it is like cannabis and needs to be cured or it crumbles to dust.
Good luck and happy gardening