What is the Cigar Smoking World Championship?

by Juan Panesso
Cigar Smoking World Championship


It sounds like a joke, doesn’t it? The Cigar Smoking World Championship? How can you have a champion of vice? Are there drinking world championships, too? Wouldn’t the winner simply die?

Well, the answer is that the competition isn’t to see who can smoke the most. It’s to see who can smoke the slowest! 

That might sound boring to you, but if you’ve ever been trying to drag out a cigar smoking session, so you don’t have to go back inside and listen to your family on a particularly annoying day, you can probably imagine how this all came about.

(Plus, any excuse to smoke good cigars is one we’ll get behind.)

So, “What is the Cigar Smoking World Championship?”

A Cigar Man from Croatia Comes Up With a Brilliant Idea. In 2009, Marko Bilic was the little-known (outside his area, anyway) owner of Cigar Club Mareva in Split, Croatia.

The first year of competition, about 17 people showed up to compete in the first ever Cigar Smoking World Championship. It makes us think of games we made up with friends when drinking at house parties or in the woods. What starts as a funny suggestion can gain power and traction as people repeat it. Eventually, you’ve got a bona fide competition on your hands.

Obviously, the idea of a cigar smoking competition stuck and here we are now, taking it seriously. The Cigar Smoking World Championships have grown to incorporate qualifier events in many countries. This is how the organizers find the few hundred people who will ultimately participate in the grand final each year. 

If you’re interested in taking part, head to cswcworld.com and find your nearest event. It could be you that Cigars Direct and the whole insane world of cigar competitions is talking about in 2022.

How Does Slow Smoking Work?

The goal of the competition is to get your cigar lit and then smoke it as slowly as you can without it going out. Whoever is the slowest is the winner. Competitors avoid excessive movement and drafty spots in the room, and take itty bitty drags of their stogies. They also hold them with the foot facing straight up so that there isn’t excessive burning inside the tobacco. It all has to be as controlled as possible to slow down combustion and drag out the cigar for hours.

What Do You Win at the Cigar Smoking World Championship?

While the prizes were once humble, things have gotten quite serious. The overall winner in 2021, Swedish competitor Henrik Krisstenson, was showered with a treasure trove of goodies. He won humidors and accessories, a 24k gold champion’s lighter, a mega yacht experience, a golden cigar knife, a world champion ring that would make even a wealthy cigar lover green with envy.

His time to smoke the Rocky Patel World Championship 2021 cigar? Two hours, 42 minutes, and 7 seconds. If you want to smoke it too and time yourself, we’ve got it in stock.

If you fancy it, you can even take your stab at joining in the competitive spirit from home. At the very least, you’re guaranteed to get a good cigar into your hands.

Can you keep it burning longer than anyone else? Light up at a qualifier, and maybe you’ll find the sport you never knew you were meant to play. Cigars Direct takes pride in being the best source for today's top cigar brands. Check out our online store to find the best cigars to enjoy this summer.