Ahh, the 1990’s. I was a younger man back then, no grey hairs and more hair on my head. It was the boom of the cigar world with some of the best cigar brands hitting the market including a small company that took the wave to a new level – My Father Cigars. Cigar Aficionado hit the scene and cigar smoking was all the rage. Of course back then, Nicaraguan cigars were just a small percentage of the total 417.8 million imported cigars. The top exporting country in the 1990’s was the Dominican Republic topping 184.8 million cigars exported to the US in 1998.
My how things have changed in 20 plus years. My hair is grey, at least what hair I have left, boutique cigars are plentiful, and Nicaragua has taken the top spot for cigar imports to the USA. Even with the looming FDA regulations, the cigar business has been growing at a steady pace since 2012. We may want to thank the Millennial generation, as they are now a growing cigar demographic, along with women cigar enthusiasts, the largest growing demographic in the cigar industry.
2018 was a Banner Year
The recent report published by the Cigar Association of America shows that cigar imports have increased 9.7 percent in 2018 alone, with a total 362 million cigars imported into the USA. Topping the list for the second year in a row is Nicaragua with a total of 172.7 million followed by the Dominican Republic with 118.2 million. Placing third int he list was Honduras with a total of 69.7 million. 2018 marked the seventh consecutive year of growth for the industry.
We are in a new cigar boom and you can see it all over social media as enthusiasts post cigar selfies everyday and new shops continue to open to offer the best the industry has. Every time I visit a shop I seem to meet someone who just started in the lifestyle and wants to talk about their experience and what they are enjoying. So take a moment and rejoice, that the industry is doing well. If cigar smoking is any indication of the health of the economy, one can surmise, the US Economy is doing fine, as we find discretionary funds to spend on a luxury product that gives us much pleasure and relaxation.