Cigars Information

A cigar is a tightly rolled bundle of dried and fermented tobacco that is ignited so that its smoke may be drawn into the mouth. Cigar tobacco is grown in significant quantities in Brazil, Cameroon, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Indonesia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Philippines, and the Eastern United States.

Explorer Christopher Columbus is generally credited with the introduction of tobacco to Europe. Two of Columbus's crewmen during his 1492 journey, Rodrigo de Jerez and Luis de Torres, are said to have encountered tobacco for the first time on the island of San Salvador in the Bahamas, when natives presented them with dry leaves that spread a peculiar fragrance. Tobacco was widely diffused among all of the islands of the Caribbean and therefore they again encountered it in Cuba, where Columbus and his men had settled. His sailors reported that the Cuban Indians smoked a primitive form of cigar, with twisted, dried tobacco leaves rolled in other leaves such as palm or plantain.

In due course, Spanish and other European sailors caught the habit, as did the Conquistadors, and smoking spread to Spain and Portugal and eventually France, most probably through Jean Nicot, the French ambassador to Portugal, who gave his name to nicotine. Later, the habit spread to Italy and, after Sir Walter Raleigh's voyages to America, to Britain.

Wikipedia, Cigars, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cigars (as of Apr 1, 2010)

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