Cigars have been popular for centuries and still remain so, particularly amongst the affluent although people of all classes enjoy them. There are even “Cigar Bars” that carry a wide selection to choose from. Many patrons go there so they can sit back and puff on the brand of their choice and socialize with other cigar smokers. Tobacco has an even longer history that spans not only time but continents as well.
The History of Tobacco
Tobacco, a plant native to the Americas, was grown and used by the Mayans. These were the indigenous people of Mexico and parts of Central America. The popularity of this plant spread throughout the north and south as other tribes began to cultivate it. After Christopher Columbus came to the Americas in 1412, tobacco reached international attention and became popular in Europe as well.
The sailors learned of it from the natives and found that they enjoyed using it. They brought it back with them to Spain and Portugal when they returned from that famous trip. There, its usage became more widespread when it began to be used by the people in France. It was so popular there, that the French Ambassador, Jean Nicot allowed scientists to link his name to it, hence the word nicotine.
The actual scientific name for the plant is Nicotiana tabacum. There is some debate over where the word tobacco came from. Some believe it originated in Mexico in the current state of Tabasco. Others believe that it comes from a Caribbean island named Tobago. The Mississippi tribes were probably the first to begin using it in North America. In 1612, the first tobacco plantation was established in Virginia and more plantations began to crop up in Maryland and other parts of the south.
The History of Cigars
A cigar is rolled tobacco that is wrapped in tobacco leaves. They come in different shapes and sizes. The origin of the cigar has been attributed to Spain. Their popularity increased in the early 19th century after the Peninsula War, when the soldiers returned home from Spain. In the United States, tobacco was smoked in pipes.
Cigars were introduced there by an army general named Israel Putnam, in the late 18th century. It is said that he discovered them in Cuba, after the Revolutionary war and enjoyed them so much that he brought them back with him to the United States. The first cigar factory in the United States was established in Connecticut, near his hometown of Hartford.
Today, there are many types and brands of cigars to choose from. Smoking cigars remains a popular past time for people all over the world and will probably continue to do so.