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Cigar History

When were Cigars Invented

Last Updated on March 28, 2021

Are you fond of smoking cigars? If the answer is a resounding YES, this article is meant for you.

In this article, we will be answering a simple question – when were cigars invented? Alright! Brace up, mate! We have something special lined up for you.

Cigars date back to the 10th century. The oldest record of cigar smoking is among the Mayans. Archeologists have found depictions of smoking cigars in Mayan historic sites. They probably rolled tobacco wrapped in palm or some other leaves and enjoyed a good smoke. Some studies claim that the fillers were so strong that they caused hallucinations amongst the initial users. There were also independent discovery and usage of tobacco among other countries like Cuba, Haiti, etc.

What is a cigar?

Before we dive into all the details, its important to know what a cigar is. Its quite different from a regular cigarette. Cigarettes are thinner and they look completely different. Cigars are much more sophisticated – a cylinder of tobacco is rolled in tobacco leaves. That’s how you get the perfect cigar!

They can either be hand-rolled or machine-rolled. Each type of cigar goes through a thorough manufacturing process. It takes quite some time and effort to make a good-looking and flavorsome cigar. If you think about it deeply, cigars are much like aged wine. They are just supremely precious!

The process starts from sowing and collecting seeds to rolling and packing it.

Smoking a cigar takes much longer as compared to smoking a cigarette. But that’s not why we are here! Let’s go back in time and find out how the cigars got re-discovered.

How cigars got re-discovered?

When Columbus reached America, he discovered the Mayans using this intoxicant and soon became a regular user of cigars. So when Columbus returned to Europe, he took his newfound habit with him. Soon cigar smoking became popular in Europe and there was a great demand for the product. Spain became a game-changer by opening cigar factories in Cuba. The Cuban cigars started becoming immensely popular and only Spain had the right to sell them in the initial ages.

By the 1500s, Jean Nicot, brought tobacco and cigars to France. It is to him we attribute the term ‘nicotine’. Cigars continued to gain popularity all over Europe.

The turning point

In the US, cigar production first started in Connecticut. Over time, Cuba lagged behind the USA in terms of cigar production. By 1900, cigar production flourished in the USA. In 1920, the USA recorded eight billion cigars, partly due to the introduction of automated filler machines. Hence in the roaring twenties, the American cigar industry became prosperous. But as every boom is followed by a bust, the Great Depression greatly reduced the demand for Cuban cigars in America. People could no longer be afforded their beloved cigars and started moving to alternatives like nickel cigars.

The comeback

Cuba over the centuries fought back Spanish colonial occupation, fought many famous wars, and when through tough times. But with Fidel Castro’s revolution, it was Cuba’s day to shine. In 1960, Cuba nationalized the cigar industry and started producing under a brand name. You can find iconic images of Castro with a burning cigar in his fingers. It can testify to the popularity of the product among the elite during his time. However, by 1962, due to a trade embargo on Cuban goods in America, the industry started to suffer.

Cuban cigar farmers started setting out for new regions all over the world to initiate tobacco cultivation. Cigar production started expanding all over the Americas. It led to the lowering of production cost and price of cigars. Premium, handmade cigar makers had to bear the brunt.

During the 1990s, there was a decline in the popularity of cigarettes and people started to smoke cigars instead. It became a symbol of wealth and prosperity. The cigar boom saw the rise of many of the popular brands of cigars we know today. Due to high demand, there was a shortage of cigar supply. Some brands while increasing production, started to compromise on quality. Soon the boom ended and the cigar industry started to struggle again.

The world of premium cigars

Premium quality Cuban cigars have become popular among the elite now. But the high price of the commodity is majorly due to heavy taxation. You can find some of the finest cigars today in Cuba, Honduras, Dominican Republic, etc. There are a lot of cigar lovers for history. One cannot go without mentioning Winston Churchill, who even went on to brand a cigar under his name. Mark Twain, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jack Nicolson, etc., are some of the famous cigar lovers.

Concluding Thoughts

No matter what part of history you belong to, there is no reason to deny a good cigar. Sit back and light your cigar with an old-fashioned match stick and enjoy the taste of the cigar. Usually, people smoke a cigar in a laid-back, relaxed manner. It is because a cigar is something you need to savor like a glass of fine wine or whisky. Just as like, no two cigars taste the same. So, you might want to try out different brands of cigars to finally find out that one that syncs with your taste buds. At the same time, some might find premium cigars a luxury, but you don’t have to worry anymore as there are plenty of affordable cigars available nowadays, to help you keep your habit without burning a hole in your pockets.

But, as the saying goes – “Too much of anything is good for nothing”, try to smoke in moderation. When it comes to the cigar, it is quality over quantity. You will miss out on the whole experience of smoking a cigar by rushing it and smoking too many ones after the other.

If you were smoking a cigar while reading the article and you have reached the end of it, if your cigar is over, you might want to get another one to get the feel of smoking a cigar keeping the whole history in mind.

Written by Cigars to Enjoy

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