Cigars have been in existence for well over 1,000 years. It is believed that the cigar was first discovered in the Caribbean Islands around 900 AD 1. Cigars are produced in many countries around the world, particularly those closer to the equator where tobacco grows steadily. Some of the most popular countries for cigar production and manufacture are the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Mexico, Cuba and Indonesia 1. Quality manufactured cigars are still a handmade process and require curing the tobacco leaf wrapper, filling the inside with tobacco content and rolling the cigar into the cylindrical form it takes to maintain its shape 1.
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Nicotine is the most important chemical element in a tobacco product. It is the most widely consumed substance and is considered an addictive drug. Cigars contain between 100 to 200 mg of nicotine per cigar (as compared to approximately 10 mg per cigarette) 1.
Because a cigar's size is larger than a cigarette, it takes longer to smoke 1. The average cigar has a thicker appearance and will reach a length of about 5 inches 1. A cigar's smoke duration is approximately 1 hour 1. The average tobacco content is approximately one cigar to three-quarters of a pack of cigarettes 1. Nicotine is a chemical agent found within the tobacco content.
Wrappers & Fillers
The nicotine content found in a cigar depends entirely upon the wrapper and filler 1. The wrapper is the tobacco leaf that is rolled to form the cigar, and the filler is the tobacco content inside the cigar 1. If the cigar has a darker wrapper, such as a maduro (dark-cured tobacco leaf used to wrap the cigar), it will have a higher nicotine content as it is a stronger cigar 1. Some cigars have a natural, or lighter, wrapper and provide the smoker with what is considered to be a lighter smoke.
The wrapper type that has the highest content of nicotine (over 200 mg) is the Oscuro, a dark, almost black, cigar manufactured primarily in Nicaragua and Cuba 1. The Oscuro is not popular in North America because it is considered extremely strong. In North America, the most popular wrapper types are the natural shades as well as the maduro. The cigar wrapper with less nicotine content than other popular wrapped cigars is the Claro 1. The Claro is light green in color and appearance.
The Churchill (named after former Prime Minister Winston Churchill) is one of the highest nicotine content cigars (200 mg) because of its length of 7 inches. Similarly, the Torpedo cigar (named such because of its triangular shape) is one of the largest cigar types and will provide a higher nicotine content because it contains more tobacco 1. The smallest cigar shape is the Petite Corona (Little Corona), which contains approximately 100 mg of nicotine 1.
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