The History of Cigars

Cigars are known for having rich, complex flavors. Cigars have been enjoyed for centuries and the first cigar dates back to the 10th century. Below we explore the history of the cigar and how it has evolved over time. There are over 42,000 cigar brands in the USA alone, each with their own unique flavor and taste. One such brand is Davidoff Cigars, who has been making cigars since 1911.

The First Recorded Cigars

Experts trace the use of cigars back to the time of the Mayans. The Maya civilization occupied a wide area that included southeastern Mexico and northern Central America. They are believed to be one of the first groups of people to wrap tobacco in palm leaves and smoke it. There are documented drawings and even pictures of Mayans rolling and smoking palm leaves.

Columbus is Introduced to Tobacco

When Columbus arrived, he soon discovered tobacco. Natives had been smoking tobacco leaves for many years and had introduced it to Columbus and his crew. They brought this back to Europe and it quickly became very popular. The French even named cigar smoking after Jean Nicot, and eventually, nicotine was named after him too. Around this time the Spanish began to wrap the tobacco in dried paper instead of leaves and many companies began to grow tobacco and mass-produce cigars and cigarettes.

Cigars Move to Colombia

Cuba became one of the first countries to mass grow tobacco plants. This is due to the conducive  climate and rich soil. Cigars quickly became popular with people traveling from Europe and stopping at this popular port. It wasn’t long before Cuba became known for their world-class cigars.

Cigars in the USA

J.C Newman began to make his cigars and opened the J.C. Newman Cigar company in a small barn attached to his home. This was one of the earliest cigar companies in the United States and is still widely known today.

Cigars had to be rolled by hand until 1920. The cigar-making machine was invented and after the Great Depression, and quickly these machines became common practice. During WWI the soldiers got kits to make cigars as part of their basic necessities.

President Kennedy and Cigars

In 1962, President Kennedy stopped all trading with Cuba and this included cigars. Kennedy got his press secretary to purchase every Cuban cigar he could find in the country. Apparently, President Kennedy secretly stashed 1,200 cigars. Some people say that Kennedy kept these cigars for himself.

Many Cuban cigar-making families left the country and relocated to neighboring islands so that they could continue to make their cigars and sell them to the United States.

Today the cigar industry is still very popular in some parts of the world. Naturally, with the health hazards linked to smoking, the amount of cigar smokers has steadily declined over the years. However, cigar smoking is still heavily associated with celebratory events such as weddings, birthdays and holidays.

Hemant Kumar
Hemant Kumar is a project manager at Tridindia with more than nine years of commendable experience in writing about LMS, translation, and IT. His unmatched talent and passion for digital marketing gave him the opportunity to work as a multi-tasking project manager at TridIndia’s sister company, Link Building Corp. Today, he contributes to the world by imparting knowledge on SEO, link building and internet marketing etc., that helps business owners grow their online business.