The History Of The Cuban Cigar
The Cuban cigar is a popular choice not only in the UK but in many countries around the world. Here we take a look at how tobacco and the Cuban cigar came to the UK shores and the heritage and tradition behind the cigar.
Back in 1942 when Christopher Columbus discovered the New World he made reference to tobacco saying a great number of Indians were seen holding a small piece of smouldering tinder and lighting certain herbs and using these as a perfume on themselves.
In 1520 Tobacco had begun to circulate through the major Spanish ports such as Seville and Cadiz with the incidence of its use travelling southwards towards Lisbon.
In 1567 the name of nicotine was formed by Jean Liebaut of France, a famous artist at the time. Jean was the first person to study the plant in the Royal Gardens of Portugal. For many years after 1567 tobacco and the cigar circulated around Spain and Portugal and first hit the UK shores in 1729 where Catherine the Great was the first monarch to be an avid cigar smoker, causing up roar amongst royalty. In 1748 Cuba began exporting tobacco to Spain at 800 tons per ship, making three return trips each day.
In 1810 the United States joined the cigar rolling trade, rolling one foot long Stogies, named after a warehouse in Pennsylvania which still remains today.
The above is a brief history in to the cigar trade and how this industry has become one of the biggest worldwide. The tobacco and cigar industry in the UK alone is estimated to be worth over 50 billion pounds in 2012. In the UK alone cigars are often associated with the well off or high earning businessmen but over the years this has changed and Cuban Cigars have become somewhat of a novelty with them being used on nights out, school proms, birthdays and special occasions. The Cuban cigar became popular in the 1920’s in the UK thanks to the iconic pair of Bonnie and Clyde who caused mayhem on the streets of London and were often seen with a cigar in many photos.
Montrecristo is the most popular brand in the UK, turning over an estimated £3.4 million each year in sales. Cuban Cigars are a historic tradition within many UK families and will continue to be so for years to come. Like many things in life, tobacco and cigars come with a health risk which is why nobody under the age of 16 is legally allowed to buy them in the UK.
A brief history of the cigar, written here by Anthony Lamb for C.Gars Ltd