Why Did Cigars Have to Be Reborn? – The Founding of Drew Estate

Category_Cigarby Juan Panesso
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Once upon a time in history (let’s say the first half of the 1900s), cigars were a fairly common vice. But sales peaked in 1964 and declined for decades thereafter. The cause? The US Surgeon General, Luther Terry, published a report entitled, “Smoking and Health: Report of the Advisory Committee to the Surgeon General of the Public Health Service”. In it, readers were shocked to discover that – no – tobacco smoking was not a cure-all for various ailments. Instead (gasp!) it actually increased risk of lung cancer and heart disease. It was a bombshell. Of course, in retrospect, it seems silly that anyone would have ever thought otherwise. Inhale some smoke and what happens? You cough! A lot. Red, watery eyes. Sore throat. And if you take another puff? Same thing. As a matter of fact, if you get trapped in a burning building and manage to make it out, you’ll have to be treated for what? “Smoke inhalation.” So there were some common sense signs that smoking might indeed be bad for the body, but Americans all enjoyed smoking so much that we went right on doing it, even after the Surgeon General told us it was risky – just not in numbers as great as before. As a result, cigar smoking declined, and declined, and declined some more - from nine billion in sales in 1964 to a measly two billion in 1992.

A publication “killed” cigars. Could a publication could bring them back?

In the 90s, things turned around. The reason? Well it all goes back to the most famous cigar ever to be pulled out of an orifice! Monica Lewinsky shared all the sweaty details – and we do mean all - of her affair with then President Clinton, including a famous escapade with a cigar- wait - that was 1998. Cigars sales started increasing way before that. So what happened in ’92? Cigar Aficionado, believe it or not! The modern day cigar-world cultural compass (even if it is a bit stuffy at times) launched and then helped usher in a revival of cigar smoking. Demi Moore on the cover. Tastings mirroring those in the wine enthusiast community. Reviews, events, and lots more. It was this new wave of cigar popularity that two young surfers managed to paddle out to and then ride as it became the mighty 50-foot wall of water we’re now all on today.