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Written by Kevin Godbee

Friday, 30 January 2009

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tobacco faqs


While many people seem to date cigar smoking from the time Christopher Columbus arrived in the new world in 1492 the fact is that cigar smoking has been around for much longer than that. Some historians suggest that cigar smoking can be traced back another 500 years so that makes Christopher a bit of a whippersnapper in history of cigar smoking.

Even the name 'cigar' can be traced back beyond the time of Christopher Columbus and experts suggest that it comes from the language of the Mayans and the word "ciq-sigan". By 1735 the word "seegar" was in use in Europe and that slowly evolved into the "cigar" that we use today.

cigar-historyWhile no one knows what day or what year the first cigar was rolled and smoked, it's fairly clear that cigar smoking first appeared in the Caribbean and certainly spread outwards from there. It's also without question that Columbus did introduce cigar smoking to Europe but cigars were not introduced into America by the early settlers.

Even though the first tobacco farms appeared around 1612 the tobacco produced by them was mostly for pipe smokers. Ironically the first cigars that seem to have found their way to America came via a Revolutionary War general who brought some cigars and tobacco leave with him from Cuba.

Looking back now historians can see that Columbus actually stumbled on those early versions of cigars entirely by accident. Columbus was sailing into an unknown world and fortunately for us he just happened to stumble on an island where not only were the early form of tobacco were being grown but it was also time to harvest the crop.

If he had been pointing the bows of his ships a little further south then he might have discovered chocolate but ... fortunately for us ... he arrived at the right spot at the right time and came across an Indian culture where both men and women smoked tobacco leaves wrapped in a variety of other vegetable matter ... basically anything that was handy.

Another good thing for us was the lack of taste that the Europeans must have had back around that time because the early tobacco leaf was an awful smoke and our European ancestors mustn't have had much in the way of taste if they thought those early cigars were worth smoking.






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