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Real talk: The cigar community is about the shared love of the leaf and it’s beautiful

Red Neon Sign signaling cigar bar.
Jon Tyson / Unsplash

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about the cigar community, from big and small companies to influencers and the average enjoyer, it’s wonderful to be a part of. I forgive you, dear reader, if you have been led to believe otherwise. For the reality is we are a brazen lot, wilfully enjoying an activity that has long been said to cause various health issues. Many cigar smokers on social media are outspoken, as well, often with clashing beliefs and sometimes even questionable politics. And let’s be honest, cigars and tobacco are most definitely a vice, much like alcohol.

Although this community stands out, it’s a place where we embrace our shared love for an activity that has long been misunderstood. But allow me to explain why I’m sharing this and why it matters.

For the love of the leaf

Man passing a few La Palina cigars over a dinner table to a friend.
Valiant Made / Unsplash

Time and time again, I’ve seen many cigar enthusiasts sharing the love of their craft with others. Imparting advice, guidance, and the occasional “bomb” — a practice of “bombing” another cigar enjoyer with a bundle of new smokes to try. Yes, I understand the brashness and almost insult of calling it bombing, but it’s a beautiful practice nonetheless.

It’s a tradition of shared love — a shared love of an age-old craft with many new beginnings. The world of cigars has expanded in recent years, with so many boutique and small brands scattered across the country. This means that sometimes, no matter how good a particular brand or label is, it’s difficult to find in certain areas. That unconditional act of sending new smokes to others in the community has a sort of pay-it-forward reverence that echoes throughout the world of cigars. 

Sharing your favorite smokes with others, or sometimes sending local and rare cigars, helps spread the experience around. However you see it, I most certainly view it as spreading love.

Best Connecticut cigars up close and personal
Briley Kenney / The Manual

More recently, I was engaging with someone in the community on X when I noticed an awesome shadow box in the background. Inside the box, the cigar labels were displayed in wonderment, an endearing show of cigars that this person had tried. Naturally, I remarked how much I liked it, and through a private message, they reached out to me and asked if I wanted one. I offered to pay supply and shipping costs or at least send cigars in kind, but they accepted nothing in return. They offered it as a gift without expecting anything. This act of generosity is not uncommon in our community, and it’s one of the many reasons why I love being a part of it. Not solely because of how it treats me, but how everyone is welcomed with open arms, and everyone is properly taken care of.

That story alone may not seem indicative of the entire community, but I assure you, it is. Day in and day out, since I’ve enjoyed this ill-spoken craft, I’ve seen countless occasions where others shared their joy, love, and experiences. In local shops, where cigar enthusiasts share advice, guidance, and support with newcomers to the trade. Online, where the community engages with everyone willing to listen and participate. Even most shops and cigar makers, big and small, are just as friendly. They all just want to share a craft and a hobby they love with others.

It’s one thing I haven’t seen in many other communities, and quite frankly, it’s a lovely sentiment and tradition that’s rare to see anywhere. I challenge you to sift through cigar posts on various social media platforms, like X, for example. You’ll discover many posts of people sharing with one another, not just content but also lots of talks about people sending out care packages, including swag, cigars, and more. It’s truly beautiful.

Quantifying the power of community

Man holding lit cigar relaxing.
Jon Tyson / Unsplash

In a previous conversation with Mike Gehm from Lovely Cigars, we discussed the idea that cigars are a “great equalizer.” When you’re in a room with others, enjoying a cigar, it doesn’t matter who they are, what they do for a living, or what status they carry. Everyone is equal. Everyone is enjoying the experience, conversing, relaxing, and staying present in that moment. It’s a space where almost no one feels left out, regardless of their background or beliefs.

Exactly that happened at another outing I had recently. Present at the time, Terence Reilly from Aganorsa was promoting the brand’s cigars, but he also engaged with everyone there at the venue. He even walked us through a Fuma experience where you try different tobacco leaves separately, then try them all simultaneously to see how they tie the final blend of a real cigar together. It was interesting, but what was more captivating was the crowd of people from all walks of life talking, rubbing elbows, and having a great time.

You might think otherwise from the outside in or hearing from others with no involvement, but you’d be wrong. Sure, every community has a bad apple or two, and I’m not going out on a limb saying everyone who smokes cigars is a saint — I’m sure there are plenty of sour grapes.

What I am saying is that if you’re just entering the community, dipping your toes in the water, or spending a lot of time enjoying cigars on your own, maybe take this as a sign. There are many others like you, ready and willing to share in the love of the leaf. You are not alone in this journey, and you are a part of a community that values your presence and contribution.

There is a reason the monikers “brother of the leaf” and “sister of the leaf” exist and are used so frequently. As for everyone else, know that for every bad thing that can be said about the community and the craft, a dozen positive things can also be said.

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Briley Kenney
Briley has been writing about consumer electronics and technology for over a decade. When he's not writing about deals for…
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