Cigars - No Status Symbol
The Man With The Cigar
There was a time when the man smoking the cigar was usually "the boss" and his cigar was a symbol of his power and success. Today, more and more young people are becoming attracted to cigar smoking, and although they are smoking cigarillos (smaller versions of cigars which look more like cigarettes), the effect is every bit as dangerous. It is important to know that tobacco in any form is deadly and smoking cigars has some lethal ramifications.
The Technical Difference Between Cigars and Cigarettes
The definition of a cigar, according to the taxation department, is "any roll of tobacco wrapped in leaf tobacco or in any substance containing tobacco." A cigarette is defined as, "any roll of tobacco wrapped in paper or any substance not containing tobacco." A cigar, unlike most machine-rolled cigarettes, does not usually have a filter, so the smoke is even more potent. Cigars come in a variety of sizes, from a cigarillo to much larger cigars which may contain between five and 17 grams of tobacco-almost as much as there is in an entire package of cigarettes.
The process of making a cigar can take several months and this process is what alters the taste and smell of cigar tobacco, making if decidedly different from cigarette tobacco. Most cigars are made from a single or specific type of tobacco that is either air-cured or dried. The tobacco leaves are aged first for a period of about a year and then they are fermented. The multi-step fermentation process can take from three to five months and not only changes the tobacco it also can affect the price of the cigar.
A Status Symbol Complete With Its Own Culture
There are many cigar smokers who have become very discerning about the quality of their cigars and consider themselves connoisseurs-very much like wine experts. Cigar smoking is a very popular and trendy sub-culture which has its own magazines, shops, bars and clubs where people gather to smoke. The image of success that has been attached to cigar smoking is built upon by the entertainment industry and of course, the young people of today are influenced by this fact. Young smokers can avail themselves of "little cigars" which are sold in packs of 20, 8, 5 or 1. Some companies sweeten the cigar with chocolate or strawberry flavoring which gives it even more appeal to youth. The taxes are lower on cigars, so they become more affordable for young people. These "little cigars" are not well regulated and consequently, until legislation is enforced, they easily find their way into young hands.
Cigar Smoking Considered Trendy By Youth
In former years, cigar smoking was mostly found in men who were highly educated and had high incomes, generally between the ages of 35 and 64. Today, the trend has changed and most new cigar smokers are teens and young adult males between the ages of 18 and 24. Cigar smoking is second only to cigarette smoking as the most popular use of tobacco among teens and much of this surge in tobacco use is due to the availability of "little cigars."