Definition of smokestack industry in English:

smokestack industry

noun

US
  • Any of the heavy manufacturing industries, typically coal-powered and associated with high levels of pollution and outmoded technology (usually in plural); also absol. used attributive, of, pertaining to, or characterized by the smokestack industries, as "smokestack city", "smokestack economy", etc.

Origin

1970s; earliest use found in Business Week.