Cubans legendary cigars were long banned in the US…and now the White House is easing the sanctions on Cuban cigars, and many American can’t wait to buy them legally. Smokers are happy about it, and Cuban tobacco growers are celebrating; they can’t wait to sell the cigars to Americans, after all, it’s a million dollar business. Cuban tobacco growers see this as a significant opportunity for their business and try to create an appetite for their product. It wasn’t available for so long…people need to develop a new taste for it.
Great men and great cigars have always gone together, so it’s no surprise that some of the century’s most influential and famous figures have embraced this time-honored pastime.
He started smoking with 15 as well, and it’s hard to find a picture of him without his beloved cigar. Throughout his long life, Churchill nourished England with his political courage and wisdom and nourished himself with the best food, drink, and cigars he could find. He was known to smoke 8 to 10 cigars a day, primarily Cuban brands. Not even the necessity of wearing an oxygen mask for a high-altitude flight in a non-pressurized cabin could prevent Churchill from smoking.
John F. Kennedy
Kennedy ranks with Winston Churchill as one of the great cigar smoking statesmen of our time. He had a real dilemma in 1962 when he was about to sign an embargo prohibiting any Cuban products from entering the country, including his favorite cigars. When you’re the president of the United States, you can get just about anything you’d like and what he wanted was a bunch of Cuban cigars, 1,000 to be exact. He gave his press secretary, Pierre Salinger, less than 24 hours to round them up. The press secretary didn’t let him down, as he managed to scrounge up 1,200 cigars. Kennedy then signed the embargo, and Cuban tobacco has been off-limits to Americans ever since.
Known for favorite smoking quotes like “if smoking is not allowed in heaven, I shall not go.” The famous author of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn smoked at least 22 cigars a day, maybe as many as 40. Twain’s penchant for cigars didn’t necessarily mean he smoked the best cigars. Once, as he would later relate in his essay “Concerning Tobacco,” he pilfered a handful of expensive and elegant cigars from a friend’s house, removed the labels, and placed the smokes in a box identified by his favorite brand. He then invited the man and 11 other friends over for dinner, offering each a cigar afterward. Everyone shortly excused themselves, and the next morning Twain found the cigars sprawled outside–except for the one left on the plate of the man from whom the cigars had been filched. “He told me afterward that some day I would get shot for giving people that kind of cigars to smoke.”
There are many more: Babe Ruth, Bill Clinton, Al Capone, Fidel Castro just to name a few. Smoking a cigar is often seen as a symbol of “wealth, education, celebration, and sophistication.” Charlie Chaplin used the cigar in his film City Lights as a symbol of the upper class.
Smoking is harmful, we all know that. Unfortunately, most articles only talk about cigarettes. Somehow people often think that cigars are a safer smoking alternative because the smoke is not inhaled into the lungs.
That sound logical doesn’t it? I mean if you don’t inhale then it can’t actually harm you. WRONG!!!!! The research indicates that this belief is incorrect.
Here are some facts about cigars:
- There is no such thing as a safe tobacco product. All forms of tobacco have risks associated with them, and cigars are no different.
- One cigar can contain as much tobacco as one pack of cigarettes! One regular cigarette contains typically less that 1 gram of tobacco, while a single cigar can contain up to 17 grams of tobacco.
- A single cigar can contain as much nicotine as several cigarettes. Even if you don’t inhale, large amounts of nicotine will be absorbed through the lining of your mouth. Smoking cigars instead of cigarettes doesn’t reduce your risk for nicotine dependence. A regular cigarette contains one to two milligrams of nicotine…a cigar up to 200 milligrams, some even 400 milligrams.
- All tobacco smoke contains chemicals that can cause cancer, and cigar smoke is no exception. Regular cigar smoking increases the risk of several types of cancers, including cancers of the mouth, lip, tongue, throat, esophagus, larynx and lung.
- Regular cigar smoking increases the risk of lung diseases, including emphysema and chronic bronchitis. It also might increase the risk of heart disease, such as coronary artery disease.
- Cigar smoking has been linked to oral and dental disease, such as gum disease and tooth loss.
Let’s face it…tobacco and nicotine are harmful. Switching from smoking cigarettes to cigars can be very harmful because a smoker might inhale cigar smoke the same way as cigarette smoke.
Instead of trying to choose between cigarette smoking and cigar smoking, quit tobacco entirely.