To improve the efficiency of photoelectric foreign matter removal in tobacco primary processing, a tobacco strip spreader was designed and installed above the rotary roller sorter. The spreader mainly consists of a drive mechanism, an adjustable bracket, a rotating shaft, and a conical disk. Based on the force analysis of tobacco strips on the conical disk and strip spreading experiments, the cone angle of the conical disk was determined to be 29° and the rotation speed to be 79.0 r/min. The minimum diameter of the rotating shaft was 30 mm. The rotating shaft was situated on the adjustable bracket with two angular contact bearings, it drove the conical disk by profile connection. The spreader was tested on the blended strips of cigarette brand "Taishan (White General) "in Jinan Cigarette Factory. The results showed that the spreading width of the strips on the bottom conveying belt of the sorter increased by 650 mm, and the thickness decreased by 55 mm; the foreign matter rejecting rate increased from 86.67% to 95.56%, and the error rate decreased from 0.23% to 0.15%. This technology provides support for improving the performance of foreign matter removal equipment.