Smoking tobacco has developed from a communication tool with the gods over a remedy and vice to a symbol of freedom and luxury item. Smoking cigars is no longer considered a medical treatment, but there are still plenty of reasons to light up a cigar in 2020.
Millennia ago, tobacco was used by Indigenous Americans to establish contact with the gods. During other rituals and ceremonies, the consumption of tobacco was crucial to the culture of Indigenous Americans.
Peace and medical treatment
The ritual of smoking a ceremonial pipe is one of the aboriginal traditions well-known to Europeans. Indigenous people not only used the ceremonial pipe smoking to decide on peace but also as medicine to treat infected wounds or against worms.
Tobacco demonized and rehabilitated
During the 16th century, seafarers brought tobacco to Europe, where it was first used as a medicine, for example, for treating headaches, tetanus, gout, or the plague. In 1492, Rodrigo de Jerez scouted Cuba for Christopher Columbus and was the first European to experience tobacco smoking. However, he soon regretted introducing tobacco to Europe. Smoke coming from his orifices, the Spanish Inquisition thought the devil possessed him and threw him into a dungeon for seven years. Opponents to tobacco had already existed back then, not only in Spain and Europe. In 17thcentury Russia, people’s nose was slit, and people in the Ottoman Empire even faced the death penalty. Based on its similarity to frankincense, the Church soon came to terms with tobacco use and even permitted priests to smoke. Around 300 years later, the author Mark Twain realized: “If I can’t smoke cigars in heaven, I won’t stay there long.”
Cigars – from vice to status symbol
Despite the Church’s blessing during the Middle Ages, tobacco consumption – like everything else enjoyable – remained a vice. Increased import taxes contributed significantly to cigars becoming a luxury – one that only aristocrats could afford. The French Revolution toward the end of the 18th century, however, helped the cigar to become the status symbol of the new upper class. While snuff tobacco earned a poor reputation, the Cigar became the epitome of freedom and social authority. As a result, elegant gentlemen met after dinner to smoke cigars in their private smoking rooms. The cigar symbolized affluence, power, and masculinity. It was only after World War II and the emancipation that smoking became socially acceptable for women.
Cigars – a timeless classic and matter of time
Nowadays, more people smoke than ever, but primarily cigarettes. That is why enjoying a cigar in our contemporary world is predominantly a matter of time, but also a question of appreciation. Inviting someone to smoke a cigar shows that you are not under pressure to attend the next appointment. Precisely this tranquility signifies the power of smoking cigars. The recommended puff per minute illustrates that smoking a cigar is not about quickly satisfying a nicotine addiction, unlike cigarettes. As the author Matthias Keidtel stated in an interview with www.jetzt.de, enjoying a cigar “significantly increases the intensity of life.”
You can rid yourself of all stress, sit down, light up a cigar and ruminate or converse with others. Keidtel considers the “smoking” cigar a mini bonfire “that serves to warm up and tell stories.” When asked whether a cigar is antiquated or modern, Keidtel answers: “The cigar is as antiquated or modern as a glass of wine or an intense conversation.” Cigars calm but, at the same time, stimulate him. Once the smoke rises, white rings form and the entire room smells of spices, that is when he can start to concentrate on writing.
Calming down with the help of tobacco
There is no obligation to sit down while smoking a cigar, but one should not walk to prevent missing out on the intense flavors. Particularly nowadays, during hectic times, it feels great not to have to move all the time but sit down. Best, into a digital off-time, 30 to 120 minutes, far away from everyday stress – to find oneself. Thomas Mann, who passed away in 1955, would have managed a day without a smartphone easily, “but a day without tobacco, that would be the culmination of silliness, an entirely dull and unattractive day.”
Power and success
Cigar expert Benjamin Patock sees cigar smokers as pleasure-oriented, confident people who are risk-takers. However, in an interview with www.businessinsider.de, Patock emphasizes that a cigar is an ideal prerequisite for concluding business. “One shows the other person that their time is appreciated.” Furthermore, business people can use cigars to demonstrate power and success since “A person that smokes during a hectic workday shows that they can afford an hour or two to enjoy a cigar.”
Prioritizing cigar enjoyment
For aficionados, it is challenging to put into words the emotions they experience when smoking an excellent cigar and letting the mind wander. However, Matthias Keidtel is not interested in creating a specific image with the help of the cigar. “What matters is the attitude, and my opinion about the cigar is shaped by an exceptional experience of taste and enjoyment.” In contemporary times, tobacco is no longer considered medicine. Oscar Wilde also did not require cigars to have medical health effects. He established for himself: “A cigarette is the perfect type of a perfect pleasure. It is exquisite, and it leaves one unsatisfied. What more can one want?”
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