Cigars have long been associated with men. Hanging between the lips of Winston Churchill or Fidel Castro, we tend to think of cigar smoking as a men domain. But as it turns out, cigars and women are not very far apart. In fact, women have been smoking tobacco since ages, and it’s not uncommon to find a cigar smoking lady in this age.
Times have certainly changed. Earlier, the idea of a smoking woman was restricted to shy housewives lighting up in the secrecy of their home. Today, no one is surprised to see a woman proudly puffing on a Cuban cigar. It’s in style, and are a symbol of liberation for women and others entering the world of smoking - once considered men’s territory.
The History of Women and Cigars
If you dig deep, you will find a long association between women and cigars.
The ancient Mayan ladies used to smoke at the same level as their men, as per anthropologists. Even the fourteenth-century Aztec society had similar examples. The women doctors and midwives were distinguished by their tobacco pouches and gourds which they enjoyed after attending to their patients.
The trend continued to the eighteenth century when men and women smoked cigars in equal numbers in America and Europe. Even countries in Latin America had a considerable amount of female smokers. In Costa Rica, 1735, both ladies and gentlemen were fond of smoking.
The advent of Hollywood made smoking more popular among women. The German-American actress Marlene Dietrich was often photographed with a cigar lit seductively on her lips during the 1930s. During the 1990s, more women celebrities became cigar aficionadas: Demi Moore, Drew Barrymore, Jodie Foster, Madonna, Whoopi Goldberg, Angelina Jolie- the list is endless!
The relationship between women and cigars have always been close. Though there is still some stigma associated with the topic, it is fading fast in the modern age.
Women Representation in the Cigar Industry
Women may not like to smoke cigars in public, but that doesn't mean they have given it up! According to the CDC, 2% of adult females in America are cigar smokers- that translates to 3.2 million women! That is a significant increase from the 1980s when women accounted for only one-tenth of one percent of smokers in the USA.
Other industry sources have put the number of women cigar smokers in the world to 10%. The number is steadily growing with more professional women taking up a cigar to melt their day's stress.
Women are also happily becoming members of cigar smoking clubs. It's not a new thing, with many women cigar-smoking clubs flourishing in Berlin and the US during the 1920s. There is cigars-smoking club saying that 60% to 70% members of their club are women.
Back to today, even female sports stars enjoy cigars. During the 2010 Winter Olympics in Canada, the women's hockey team celebrated their gold medal with beer and cigars!
Currently, women in their 30s and 40s are becoming avid cigar smokers. However, we also have examples of women lighting up well into their 50s and 60s! Some famous Cuban cigar companies have also introduced slender and flavored cigars just for the fairer sex.
Do men and women have the same take on cigars?
60-year old Miriam Obelin who works in a cigar factory in Havana enjoys her smoke just like other men. She feels that smoking a cigar doesn't make a woman compromise her femininity. On the contrary, it can make her look more elegant!
Interestingly, 90% of workers in her factory are women. So, it's quite reasonable for them to smoke cigars during their breaks and in everyday life.
The Association for Women Cigar Smokers surveyed in 2008 to determine why women smoked cigars, and 24% women who responded said cigars made them felt powerful, 25% believed it was attractive, 43% did it for fun, while 15% and 22% felt loud and rebellious respectively.
The reasons can be many, but what is beyond doubt is that women enjoy smoking the same way as men do. And most of them also appreciate the complexity and strength of the same cigars that men smoke!
How to Become a Lady Cigar Aficionada?
If you are just starting on your cigar journey, you should keep a few things in mind.
You should consider starting with a mild cigar to get yourself used to the habit. Infused or flavor cigars are ideal for beginners. Also, go for a cigar which won't last too long- maybe half an hour.
Once you get the hang of smoking a cigar, you can slowly progress to a fuller bodied smoke. Go for a mild-t-medium smoke at first without straying too far from the sweet cigars.
Continue Your Journey
As you smoke, you will acquire new preferences in terms of flavor and strength. You will also be able to enjoy the full range of premium Cuban cigars once you progress to fuller body cigars.
Give it a Go
Cigars and women have a strong bond. You can gift cigars to a woman and be ready for some appreciation and love. We at Revolucion Style are also offering a welcoming environment where women can shop for their smokes without any issues. You get to try out the different cigars before finally buying the one you want. Stop by our cigar shop in Canada!
So, light up and chill with your favorite Cuban cigar!
Tobacco and cigars are, of course, inseparable, so it makes sense to start with the history of tobacco to understand curiosities you never knew about cigars and how influential the Cuban cigar has been to the industry at large.
The history of the Cuban cigars is a complicated one that starts with the global history of tobacco and ends with a nation’s dominance over the cigar industry.