Cigars have long been associated with men, but in recent years, more and more women are discovering the charm of cigars and enjoying them in their own way. From flavored cigars to smoking bars, the tobacco industry is changing to cater to the growing number of female cigar smokers. Viaje, J. C.
Newman, and Great Gatsby Cigars are just a few of the brands that have created unique flavors such as apple, grape, and pina colada specifically for women. Cigars are no longer just for special occasions; they are becoming a form of relaxation for many women. The tobacco industry has seen a wave of innovation and creativity as more women discover cigars. Mary Lynn Kane is committed to changing the industry's attitude towards female smokers, one puff at a time.
As the owner of Lake Country Cigars in Delafield and a cigar smoker for 29 years, Kane knew that women had purchasing power when it came to cigars. A market study conducted in the late 1980s determined that women accounted for one-tenth of one percent of the total cigarette market in the United States. However, Norman Sharp, president of the United States Tobacco Association, says that the market has clearly changed in the eight years since this study was conducted. According to anecdotal reports from cigar manufacturers and retailers, it appears that women smoke cigars in significantly greater numbers. Smoking bars and clubs are also on the rise; they began in the 80s when the Ritz-Carlton in Boston hosted a cigar dinner. The objective is to provide an environment where customers can buy and smoke top quality cigars without feeling out of place or worrying about being treated differently. The Micallef Migdalia Special Edition cigar is one such product that can be purchased in stores. The magazine Cigar Aficionado was founded in 1992 by Marvin Shanken, editor of The Wine Spectator.
Shanken said that Cigar Aficionado had more than 500,000 readers despite critics who thought it would be interpreted as a joke because of pressure to quit smoking. Linda O'Hare, manager of Mr. Smithtown Tobacco Store said, “I think cigars are really hot right now among men and women.” Ken Isaacs, owner of Tobacco Plaza in Great Neck said he was having trouble keeping supplies of cigars due to their increasing popularity. Celebrities such as Madonna, Demi Moore, and Linda Evangelista have also been seen smoking cigars. Karen Zeidan from Port Washington started smoking cigars last year for the second time; she said she prefers them over cigarettes because she can enjoy them with her husband. However, Dr. William Wagner, a cardiologist in Port Washington has a less optimistic view.
He found that people who smoke cigarettes before trying them tend to also inhale cigars which increases their risk of lung cancer. It is clear that cigars are here to stay and will continue to prove their worth in the coming years. Women are now able to enjoy cigars on their own terms without any preconceived ideas or pressure from society.