Fun and Curious Facts about Cigars

  • “Cigar” comes from the Spanish “cigarro,” which is a loanword from the Mayan language and the word “sicar.” The meaning of this word was “to smoke tobacco leaves.” 1
  • “Petum” was the early European word for tobacco and most likely derives from the Native American word Tupi-Guarani for tobacco. The word “nicotine” comes from the surname of Jean Nicot de Villmain, who brought Nicotiana rustica to France in 1560. The word “tobacco” is first mentioned by Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo y Valdes (1478-1557), who used it for the act of smoking and also for the leaves of the plant. 2
Mayan pyramid
  • The tobacco plant belongs to the same family as tomatoes and potatoes – Solanaceae. 3
  • You can fit 1000 tobacco seeds in a thimble. This tiny seed needs a lot of sunlight to become a plant that can be harvested. Eight hours a day, every day, to be exact.
  • The cigar in your hands has already gone through more than 200 pairs of hands.
people making handmade cigars
  • The person who rolls the cigars and is skilled enough to roll up at least 200 cigars a day is called a “torcedor.”
  • In 2017, more than 330 million cigars were imported into the United States, most of which are likely already smoked. This is the largest import per year for almost two decades. 4
  • Cigars used to be a popular prize at carnival events. You can guess that carnival events and prizes were not geared toward children back then. “Close but no cigar” dates back to that time for those who were close to first place but missed the chance to win.
cigar but no cigar
  • Many famous personalities were passionate cigar aficionados. A bright example is Winston Churchill, who even wanted to smoke a cigar during a flight. Once he had to wear a mask on a flight, which made it impossible for him to smoke. So, he had a special mask with a hole for smoking. 5
  • Other famous aficionados are Victor Hugo, Mark Twain, Ulysses S. Grant, Frank Sinatra, George Burns, Demi Moore, and many more.
  • Do cigars promote creativity? According to Mark Twain’s experience, yes! He smoked 300 cigars a month before he quit smoking (how is that even possible?!). Then he could not write anymore. After he resumed smoking cigars, his creativity was back. Some say that smoking a cigar makes you seem more intelligent and wiser.
Mark Twain
  • The first cigar company based in the USA was founded in 1820. It was named after the Connecticut Broadleaf tobacco variety, which is grown outdoors in the Connecticut River valley. In the early 1900s, there were already more than 10000 cigar companies in the USA.
  • Some consider cigar smoking more socially acceptable than cigarette smoking. This can be explained by the reason and occasion for smoking cigars. Cigars are smoked when celebrating happy moments or relaxing with a pleasant conversation with good friends. In comparison, cigarettes are smoked quickly between tasks to satisfy nicotine cravings.
  • Cigars are not just a man’s thing. There are many female aficionados. Women who smoke a cigar are considered classy and confident. However, it was not common for women to smoke cigars in public. The New York Herald, European Edition, reported on April 22, 1922, about the sensation caused by two American women smoking cigars in a bar in Paris.
  • One of the worst scores in Cigar Aficionado history is Penamil No. 57 from the Canary Islands. It received 69 points. The best-rated cigar by Cigar Aficionado is the Cuban Hoyo de Monterrey Double Corona, which received 99 points in the first edition of 1992.
Hoyo de Habana
  • Rare and hard-to-find cigars on the market are Cohiba Behike, La Aurora Puro Vintage, King of Denmark, Davidoff Millennium Blend Lonsdale, and Arturo Fuente Opus X “A.”
  • Cigars are known for not inhaling the smoke. There is a scientific reason for this, aside from the fact that inhaling causes nausea and makes you cough. In the late 1980s, it was discovered that inhaling is one of the most important indicators of health risks. Inhaling increases health risks more than cigarette smoking. Cigar smoke is stronger than cigarette smoke, even without the additives that cigarette manufacturers are known for. 6
  • “Cigar aficionado” and “cigar connoisseur” are both used as synonyms for a cigar lover, but there is a difference between the two terms. Aficionados are cigar lovers on a fan level, while connoisseurs have a higher level of expertise.


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Oliver Jones PhD

Oliver Jones PhD

Jones, Oliver Jones, content creator and editor. My passion for smoking has deep roots: my grandfather was a tobacco curer, and my first job was as a tobacconist. Ever since my grandfather introduced me to Cuban cigars in the 90s, I've been captivated by the relaxed enjoyment and rich culture surrounding them. My favorite cigar? It's always the next premium blend I try, and the same goes for pipes. So here I am, sharing my lifetime of knowledge and experience to help you discover your next favorite cigar or pipe.

You can reach out to me for questions anytime via

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