American Industry Overview: Cigars

Industry Snapshot

Cigars represented a $3.4 billion business in the late 2000s, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although the industry had experienced a decline from its boom in the 1990s, sales rose 9.2 percent in 2007, and by 2008, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reported that 13.3 million Americans over the age of 12 were cigar smokers

The volatile cigar industry experienced dramatic growth in the 1990s due to increasing acceptance of cigar smoking among the "Generation X" population, a resurgence in "cigar evenings," and the popularity of the Internet, where cigars are sold in record numbers. The magazine Cigar Aficionado, introduced in 1992, is generally credited with the upturn in the cigar industry. No longer a passion for older men alone, changing demographics found "twenty-somethings," both men and women, participating in cigar evenings and joining the 35- to 65-year-old traditionalists in the purchase of premium cigars. Celebrities also helped add to the allure, adorning the cover of Cigar Aficionado and showing up frequently at soirees flourishing "stogies."