Now that non-smoking is the norm and smokers are becoming less and less accepted in most areas of active life, what has been the effect of this trend on the fashion of men's cigars? Once considered the epitome of a refined gentlemen, has cigar smoking now been delegated to the back room of shanty town? Health issues aside, cigar smoking is seen as a popular male past time, a chance for a quiet relaxed moment to have a soothing respite at the end of a hard day. The male images of cigar smoking as a symbols of machismo are legend and cover the gamut from comedian George Burns to world leader Winston Churchill to revolutionist Fidel Castro to California governor and movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Specialized private clubs still exist where gentlemen and ladies can go to enjoy a fine cigar. Smoking restrictions exist everywhere, but there are no gender restrictions to club memberships permitted anymore. So get over it guys and if you see a lady pull out a cigar in one of these special private cigar clubs, offer her a light. There are even mountain lodges that provide an escape for cigar smokers who welcome them there. Nothing like spending the day hunting a moose from a helicopter and topping off the end of the moose hunt with a wonderful cigar smoking session. Just ask Sarah Palin.
There are cigar magazines and cigar aficionados all around the world. If you really want to get in to it, you can purchase a humidor which is a climate controlled box, device, or even a special room, to keep your cigars in the perfect temperature and humidity and let them age properly. Fine cigars age like fine wine. Over time the oils in the tobacco gently seep out of the inner layers towards the outer wrap, resulting in a smoother and more mellow smoke.
There are three basic types of cigars. Those with the natural (tan colored) outer wrapper are the most well known. Next are the maduros, which are wrapped in a dark brown outer wrapper and finally we have the green colored cigars called candelas. Green cigars you say? Yes, during 1958 to the early 1970s green cigars, made with the young green tobacco leaf used as the outside wrapper where the dominant cigars. Billions of them were smoked in the USA, so much so they were also called American Market Select, but they gave way to the "natural" colored cigar that is the tan wrapper that is now most common.
To smoke a cigar properly, you need be in a place that it is allowed (best if it is a place where it is encouraged - try the humidor of Dunhill on Fifth Ave in New York). If you are in a private club or in your private den of iniquity, this would be the perfect place to wear your "smoking jacket." This is a fashion style of jacket designed specifically for the evening time relaxation of a gentlemen whilst smoking a wonderful cigar. Compliment the scene with a fine cognac served in a slightly warmed snifter by your manservant, then sit back and enjoy your smoke.