Women Cigar Smokers: A Growing Trend

In the United States, only about 9 percent of men say that they smoke cigars, but the number of women cigar smokers is not far behind. Brands and blends are now being designed exclusively to appeal to women's tastes and preferences. Jerica Lowder and Samantha Rees, two women from Cumberland, a small town east of Indianapolis, are among a small but growing percentage of women who enjoy the ritual of smoking cigars. Celebrities like Angelina Jolie, Demi Moore, Claudia Schiffer and Heidi Klum have been known to smoke cigars.

Manufacturers are now marketing flavors such as honey and mocha, and bars and cigar stores are designing experiences with women in mind. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 3.2 million women smoke cigars in the United States. In the 1980s, Cigar Aficado reported that market studies showed that women represented only a tenth of one percent of the total U. S. cigarette market.

Of course, there are female smokers at all levels, from those who light up on special occasions to those who smoke routinely. Barbara Munchel is a dedicated cigar smoker and owner of Cigar Haven in Fishers, a store with more than 900 varieties like Cohiba Siglo VI. Martha Hoover, the owner of a local gastronomic empire of nine restaurants, is not a dedicated cigar smoker but her husband is. Nick Blum, owner of BlumLux, a luxury jewelry boutique in Broad Ripple, offers a personalized service that includes a complimentary cocktail and cigar. Women have accepted this offer; Kristina Skeens and Jennifer Snider were immediately enlightened when they attended the boutique's open day. The trend is not without potential dangers.

Cigar smokers are at greater risk of suffering from the same medical problems that affect cigarette smokers, such as lung, mouth and throat cancers, strokes, and heart problems. The CDC points out that cigarettes aimed at women may be even more threatening because flavors are a powerful mask. Daniel McQuiston, a marketing professor at Butler University, isn't surprised that cigar manufacturers are courting female customers. Avanti, a major Pennsylvania-based cigar manufacturer, sells its new Café Mocha Estilo cigar in three-pack bags that women like to keep in a bag or pocket. Avanti will also launch a new line of decorative tips for its cigars in February, as well as other accessories and new flavors. For those women who shudder at the still-overwhelming masculinity of the smoking culture? Ask the cigar seller if the cigarette is made up of 100 percent tobacco; that's what you want.

Check the quality of the cigar by squeezing it lightly to ensure that there are no lumps left. In addition, the tobacco should not discolor in the end. Choose your cigar based on its length and diameter, which are related to the intensity of the cigarette. Novice cigar smokers may prefer a longer, thinner cigar (with colder smoke) rather than a short, plump one. Take off the band while you smoke the cigarette but not until it is lit so as not to break the tobacco.

Expect about 12 puffs more or less. Don't ignore the fact that smoking cigars can be harmful; it is still a tobacco product. Don't buy your first cigarette at a gas station; go to a real cigar store and get expert advice. According to Tsai's view, the United States has taken longer to accept women cigar smokers in a business context. More than half of tobacco smokers overall (52.4%), including 56.2% who also smoked cigarettes today and 61.0% who smoked cigarettes before indicated that CFs were like smoking a normal...