History of Cigars

The term cigar comes from “cigarro”, a Spanish word believed to be obtained from the word “sik” meaning tobacco. Cigar is actually a firmly rolled bundle consisting of dry and soured leaves of tobacco.

The Discovery

People of South and Central America used to smoke cigars for several centuries. Cigars of primitive times were different in forms and shapes from modern day cigars.

Spanish voyagers were the first to introduce cigars in Europe somewhere in the 15th century. However, Columbus was the one to introduce the concept for the first time in Europe in the year 1492. Soon after that, cigars turned out to become popular in Portugal and Spain.

Later on, Jean Nicot a diplomat of Portugal popularized cigars in France. The influence of Jean Nicot on cigars was such that the plant of tobacco was named as Nicotiana. In that era, smoking of tobacco was considered for various medicinal properties, but soon after James I of England and Philip II of Spain criticized it considering it as an evil habit.

The Production

Earlier, manufacturing of cigars used to take place in Spain somewhere around the 18th century through Cuban tobacco. Consequently, France and Germany too started making cigars. Thereafter, cigar smoking became a classy and stylish thing.

The 18th century saw the arrival of cigars in America. Soon after, cigars aroused as a status symbol for the citizens of America during the Civil War in 1860.

Usually, superior quality cigars are handmade and sold under esteemed brands. Some of the famous brands in the cigar industry are Altadis, Carlos Torano and Arturo Fuente.

Next, at the dawn of the 20th century, somewhere around 1920, cigar makers in Cuba began manufacturing cigars through machines that were comparatively cheaper than handmade cigars.

Years after the birth of cigars, the consumption of cigars saw a boost during the mid 1900s. Cigars were thought out to be trendy, as represented by celebrities.

Nevertheless, in the late 90s, the boom started declining with sale of cigars lowering for a couple of years before shooting up again.

Between the year 2000 and 2004, consumption of cigars in America shoot up by about 28%. Regardless of the increasing limitations on smoking at public places, cigar smoking still exists as one of the affordable luxury habits.

However, the trend may soon vanish, as extensively higher taxes are being imposed on cigars for various other social causes, for example, to fund kids health insurance programs.