THE ORIGIN

The Discovery of Cigars

Tobacco was first cultivated in Cuba by the Spanish colonists between the year 1550 and 1600 (2nd half of the 16th century
The Cigar plant first grew in the Americas and was widely used by the Native American population
When Columbus landed in the Bahamas, the natives presented him with gifts of fruit, wooden spears, and tobacco
Sailors accompanying Columbus who returned home introduced Europe to the custom of smoking
During the Peninsular War against Napoleon, British soldiers, took to smoking the Sevillas which they called ‘segars’. The popularity of the segars spread in England once the soldiers returned home

1492 AD

The crew of Christopher Columbus encounter tobacco for the first time in the Dominican Republic.
The crew discovers that tobacco is smoked on most Caribbean islands. In Cuba the natives smoked a primitive form of cigar, with twisted, dried tobacco leaves.

Around 1500

European sailors adopt the hobby of rolling leaves and smoking primitive cigars

MID 1500's

Jean Nicot, French ambassador to Portugal spreads the hobby to Europe. He gives his name to nicotine.
Sir Walter Raleigh brings tobacco to England. There it becomes popular to smoke the pipe.

MID 1600's

Tobacco starts to be grown in North America. Tobacco is thought to possess medicinal qualities

19th Century

Cigar smoking is common, while cigarettes are still comparatively rare. Cigars are becoming an important industry and factories employ many people.
To escape the turmoil of the Ten Year’s War, many cigar manufacturers move from Cuba to Florida. Ybor City near Tampa becomes the largest cigar factory in the world at the time.
Hundreds of millions of cigars are produced annually.

1929

Workers in Ybor City and West Tampa roll over 500 000 000 cigars. There are 80 000 cigar-making operations in the United States.
The climax of the industry of making cigars by hand.

1940's & LATER

Most cigars are machine made.
The distinction between premium hand-rolled cigars and machine made cigars is made.
Machine-made cigars are sold in packs at drugstores or gas stations.

1990's

The Cigar Boom is the name given to the resurgence of cigar consumption in the United States during the years
of the middle 1990s.
Rise of import and sales of premium cigars
Industry-wide shortages of raw material and finished products
1992: establishment of Cigar Aficionado magazine