Cigar History

A Fateful Landing

Columbus’ men make first contact with the Tainos and, after witnessing the ritual de cohiba, become the first Europeans to smoke cigars. The smoke signalled their salvation in this crucial moment in history, which allowed for not only the discovery of cigars, but of the new world.


Entry Into European Society

People were entranced by the seemingly divine practice of drawing smoke and expelling it from the mouth and nostrils, as well as by the pleasantly soothing effect of smoking, catalysing a roaring tobacco trade; several cigar factories were set up in Spain rolling Cuban puros.


The Beginning Of Cuban Manufacture

It was acknowledged that rolled cigars survived the transatlantic journey from Cuba to Spain in far better condition than loose tobacco leaf. As such, Spain allowed Cuba to manufacture cigars, instead of assembling the cigars themselves; a plethora of cigar factories were set up in Cuba, and by 1810, Cuban brands were registering for trademarks. A legend was born…


The Word Spreads

Cigars started becoming popular in the United States. Factories opened in New York, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania. One of the first factories built was in Conestoga, Pennsylvania, where the term “Stogie” started.


Want a Cigarette?

The popularity of cigarettes skyrockets, as they overtake cigars to become the most popular form of tobacco enjoyment.


Cuba’s Nationalisation

Castro seizes control of Cuba’s cigar industry, leading the United States to impose an embargo, making it illegal for US Citizens to import any goods from the country. This nationalisation also led to the exile of some of Cuba’s best artisans, giving rise to the non-Cuban cigar industry.


The Cigarillo Appeal

Cigarette advertising was banned on television, but a loophole allowed manufacturers to advertise small cigars. Consequently, sales of small cigars quadrupled between 1971 – 1973.


A Crucial Turning Point

The first edition of Cigar Aficionado Magazine is published.


The Cigar Boom!

After years of declining sales, cigar smoking became a hot fad and sales rose dramatically. Between 1993 and 1998 sales of premium cigars more than tripled. It is thought that the upscale lifestyle portrayed in Cigar Aficionado had some influence on increasing the popularity of smoking cigars.