There are signs everywhere that cigars are becoming popular again. For example,
you can't pass a magazine stand without seeing two or three new magazines glorifying the
subject, and restaurants all over the country are devoting entire nights to 'smoke dinners.'
So why is the cigarette still considered offensive and is generally scorned by all? This
seems strange since cigars and cigarettes have so many things in common: both are made
of tobacco, both are rolled into tube-like shapes, and both are smoked. However, it must
be the differences that make the cigar so much more popular. Cigars are made from better
quality tobaccos, cigars are hand rolled, and cigars have a more pleasing aroma.
Both cigars and cigarettes are constructed of tobacco, but the care used in raising
fine cigar tobacco is second to none. Only the finest leaves of the plant are selected. The
drying and fermenting process is long (nine months for filler leaves and up to two years for
wrapper leaves) and closely watched.
Cigarette tobacco is grown for quantity; not
necessarily for quality. No regard is given to the aroma and smoke of the different types
of tobacco. The only type of tobacco grown is fast-maturing strains they can get to the
market quickly. Careful and attentive raising is non existent. The leaves are quickly dried
and thrown into boxes for shipment to the rolling factory.
Fine cigars are hand rolled, whereas all cigarettes are machine rolled. Including
the type and quality of the leaf, rolling is the ultimate judge of whether a cigar is good or
bad. Cigar companies go to great pains to be sure they hire only the best 'Torcedores'
(cigar rollers). If a cigar is underfilled it will burn hot and harsh; if it is overfilled it is
'Plugged' and will...