Discovery of Cigars and Cigar-related Facts

The word “cigar” is derived from the Spanish word “cigarro”, which in turn is considered to be derived from the Maya language word “sik”, meaning tobacco. A cigar is a tightly rolled bundle of dried and fermented tobacco leaves.

Discovery of Cigars

The inhabitants of Central and South America have smoked cigars for many centuries. Primitive cigars were different in shape and form from today’s cigars. They were literally a bundle of dried and fermented leaves of tobacco wrapped in other kind of leaves.

Cigars were first introduced in Europe through Spanish explorers in the end of the 15th centuries. Columbus introduced cigar first time in Europe in 1492 which he discovered in his legendary voyage. Thus cigars soon became popular in Spain and Portugal.

Later the cigar was made famous in France by Jean Nicot on his return from Portugal where he was a diplomat. The tobacco plant was named Nicotiana after him. Previously, tobacco smoking was known for its medicinal values but later it was denounced by Philip II of Spain and James I of England, who considered it evil.

Manufacturing of Cigars

Cigars, as we see them today, were first manufactured in Spain in 18th century using Cuban tobacco. Subsequently, the manufacturing of cigars started in France and Germany too. Soon cigars became famous in all over Europe. Cigar smoking was considered fashionable and stylish.

Cigars arrived back in America in the middle of 18th century. They were first manufactured in the Connecticut area from tobacco leaves grown using Cuban tobacco seeds. Connecticut had already been growing tobacco since the beginning of 17th century. At that time, cigars were made at home by cigar rollers. The cigar soon became a status symbol for Americans after its popularity soared around 1860, during the Civil War.

The popularity of cigars can be judged by the fact that in European trains, smoking cars were made available for cigar smokers and after-dinner cigars became a tradition in European culture. Later cigarettes or paper cigars were introduced, which were less expensive in comparison to cigars.

High quality cigars are generally handmade and they are sold under reputed brands, usually the long established family names of cigar manufacturers. Famous families in high quality cigar manufacturing are Arturo Fuente, Carlos Torano and Altadis.

In the beginning of the 20th century, around 1920, Cuban cigar manufacturers started making machine made cigars which were cheap in comparison to handmade cigars.

Recent History of Cigars

The popularity of smoking have declined with the growing awareness of the harmful health effects of consuming nicotine, which is present in cigars and cigarettes.