The next time you fire up a fine cigar, whether it is a slow and spicy Heaven Cigars or a quick Honduran Zino Cigars, consider the rich history you are drawing upon. Originally found in South Carolina, it was enjoyed by Native Americans in pre-settler times. Once Europeans discovered this aromatic nightshade plant, it made its way around the world in no time, finding lucrative markets in all points of mainland Europe and spreading all the way to Australia.
By the time of the Revolutionary War, tobacco crops in America would yield over 100 million pounds. This was an unprecedented industrialization of a commodity, considering all farming at that time was done by hand with the assistance of animal labor. By then, Brazil and Cuba had emerged as major players in the tobacco market, with Swiss cigar giant Davidoff opening its doors in 1906. Advertising and packaging companies also road the coattails of the tobacco industry through the boom years.
The tobacco of that time was largely smoked in pipes, but by the end of the Mexican-American war, cigars and cigarettes had undergone the rigors of the Industrial Revolution and had emerged as major money-making market influences. By the turn of the century, smokeless versions such as snuff and chewing tobacco were also flying off the shelves of American tobacconists. Laws against spitting in U.S. cities, a precursor to modern-day smoking bans, were in direct response to the popularity of such products.
Today's cigar aficionados, whatever brand they hold dear, benefit from imported varieties of every kind, right down to cigars designed specifically for women. Finding the cigar that suits you best requires nothing more than extensive sampling. Sweet or heavy, small or large, filtered or not, cigar companies have been going to the trouble and expense to satisfy market demand for hundreds of years. The result is a population base that can pick and choose from the wide selection of cigars that are available worldwide.