Although celebrated for centuries, cigarillos’ popularity suffered considerably from the cigarette boom in the 1960s to 1980s. Get to know all about cigarillos, their growing popularity over the last few years, and the cigarillos women enjoy in particular.

The term “cigarillo” has not been clearly defined. While some say that cigarillos are the cigar’s little brother, others maintain that cigarillos are a combination of cigars and cigarettes. However, cigarillos do not fit into either of those boxes because they represent an entirely independent way of enjoying tobacco.

Definition and quality

There are plenty of differences between cigarillos and cigarettes. The most obvious difference is the wrapper. Cigarillos are wrapped in tobacco leaves. Cigarettes, on the other hand, are wrapped in white thermal paper that does not contain tobacco. At a length of about 100mm, cigarillos are smaller than regular cigars but usually larger than cigarettes, which are roughly 70mm in length, making them 23% longer. Most cigarillos are made from higher quality tobacco than cigarettes. Cigarillos are often made with the same high-quality tobacco blends as cigars. That is why cigarillos have a richer, fuller, and stronger flavor and aroma than cigarettes. A cigarillo contains about 3 grams of tobacco. Moreover, most cigarillos are machine-made to maintain a consistently high level of quality. Finally, there is a considerable difference in etiquette between cigarillos and cigarettes. For more details on the differences between cigarettes and cigarillos, please refer to the blog “Cigarillos and cigarettes – what are the differences?” 

Puff, don’t inhale

When it comes to smoking a cigarillo, we strongly advise against inhaling the smoke since it is much stronger than cigarette smoke. Another reason is the high quality and the aromatic richness of the tobacco, and, in some instances, the lack of a filter. Suppose you’re puffing, only letting the smoke fill your mouth. The tobacco can develop its full aroma in your mouth before you slowly exhale. Like cigars, you need to take your time with cigarillos to release their flavors. Just because cigarillos take less time to smoke, they are no less intense and aromatic. At around ten minutes of smoking experience, it is the perfect companion for a relaxing afternoon break. Plenty of time to ponder the history of cigarillos.


We do not know precisely when cigarillos were invented. But it is said to have happened several centuries ago. According to Merriam-Webster, the term was first mentioned in 1832. The Spanish dominated the international cigar market between the 17th and 19th centuries. Therefore, it is likely that the cigarillos were a Spanish invention due to the word’s Spanish roots. Cigarillos were so popular in Europe around 1900 that some countries even passed laws on tobacco weight limits or required cigarillos to be hand-rolled. As legislation on cigarillo production was eased in the 1950s, it launched the age of mechanized production methods. This led to a sharp rise in cigarillo exports from Europe and the smoking of “small cigars.”

However, the cigar and cigarillo markets suffered significant losses when cigarette manufacturers started marketing their smokes more aggressively in the 1960s to 1980s. Nevertheless, both markets have witnessed steady growth in recent years. More details on the complete history of cigarillos here.

Male domain?

Suppose you’ve read the blog on the history of cigarillos linked above. Then, you already know that the typical cigarillo smoker is male and over the age of 40. “However, women are also increasingly indulging in cigars and cigarillos.” According to a study by the Swiss monitoring system on Addiction from 2016, only 82.6% of male smokers exclusively consume cigarettes. In contrast, the proportion of female smokers is much higher, at 97%. Therefore, it is not surprising that 4.7% of the men surveyed smoke cigarillos, compared to only 0.7% of the women interviewed. The rumor that most women prefer cigarillos and flavored cigars persists. Contrary to popular belief, women do enjoy a cigar. According to the cigar portal, women usually enjoy the aromas alone without much fuss or socializing in cigar lounges. mentions that clubs in Berlin have been trying to provide a home for female smokers for years. Thus, female smokers are no longer a rare sight in cigar clubs. Not only that, but beginners’ seminars are also enjoying increasing popularity among female smokers. “The cliché makes way for normality.”

But what are the reasons behind the increasing popularity of cigarillos, especially among female smokers?

Increasing popularity of cigarillos

VILLIGER product managers know that there are various reasons for young people to opt for cigarillos instead of cigarettes. The better quality compared to cigarettes is undoubtedly a major reason. Cigarillos are a good compromise solution for young smokers who want to enjoy good and reasonably priced tobacco without investing up to 90 minutes for a smoke. Their similarity to cigars also makes cigarillos a status symbol for young people who have to establish themselves in the business world for the first time. But the main reason cigarillos are gaining popularity with young people is the fact that they are now available in a range of different flavors. From chocolate to fruit, cigarillos today offer a range of flavors that far exceeds cigars or cigarettes.

Their compact format also makes cigarillos more suitable for everyday use than cigars. Hence: “If you are looking for a first-class smoking experience on the go, a high-quality cigarillo is a perfect solution for you.”

Cigarillos for women

Since they are smaller in diameter, cigarillos develop a more intense heat than cigars. That is why cigarillos are often rolled with milder tobacco types – without losing any of the richness of flavor that cigars offer. The cigar portal Noblego informs us that flavored cigarillos that have been artificially infused with vanilla, lime, or coconut, for instance, have an alluring taste and give off a lovely scent upon smoking. Vanilla cigarillos or those with floral notes and fruity aromas are also in high demand.

VILLIGER’S CONSTELLATION varieties, in particular, meet all of these criteria and are therefore especially popular with women. The slightly sweetened mouthpiece of the CONSTELLATION Caipirinha has a distinctive and irresistible taste. The tangy lime flavor gives this cigarillo it’s unique kick. The CONSTELLATION Piña Colada invites the smoker to ride a sweet wave of fresh pineapple and coconut. Yet no cigarillo in Switzerland enjoys as much popularity as the CONSTELLATION Sweets. The elegant filter cigarillo with the slightly sweetened mouthpiece will make any connoisseur go weak at the knees.

The CANNARD cigarillo also impresses male and female connoisseurs alike with its combination of high-quality cannabis, exquisite tobacco, and an Ecuador wrapper. Saskia V. is intrigued by the biodegradable filter: “I am amazed at the synergy of tobacco and cannabis.” Sonja E. was a bit skeptical at first, but: “I love the excellent aroma.”

The VILLIGER CORTOS Sweets has been on the market since 1983. Exquisite tobaccos, enveloped in a high-grade natural wrapper from Ecuador, give this classic cigarillo its distinctive flavor. The slightly sweetened mouthpiece and the subtle fragrance make these cigarillos so popular with women.

If you would like to learn more about the individual products, below is a selection of the popular cigarillos.

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