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Are Cigars Only for the Rich?

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

Are cigars only for the rich? Of course not. Sure, lots of successful folks smoke cigars, like doctors, lawyers, CEOs, politicians, athletes, and movie stars. But the truth is, people from a wide variety of backgrounds enjoy cigars, and most of them are not independently wealthy. An overwhelming majority of the customers who buy cigars regularly are firefighters, police officers, teachers, bartenders, mechanics, tech workers, truck drivers, and chefs. Having lots of money is just one of the common stereotypes associated with cigar smoking. Here’s why it sometimes seems like cigars are for the rich.

Cigars Symbolize Power, Wealth, & Success

The most famous cigar smokers in the world include the likes of Winston Churchill, Michael Jordan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Fidel Castro, Al Capone, Sylvester Stallone, George Burns, and Mark Twain. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, they’re hardly underachievers, and there are hundreds more we could list. When a celebrity is photographed with a cigar in his or her hand, the public notices. Forever an image of that luminary as a cigar lover is engrained in our collective consciousness.

On top of that, many cigar smokers enjoy flaunting their love of premiums – as if to encourage the rest of us to join them, or to provoke those who disapprove. It’s not surprising that successful folks who possess the gumption to prevail in their careers aren’t afraid to advertise their prosperity by smoking. Plus, it’s no secret we smoke cigars to celebrate monumental occasions like weddings, graduations, new babies, promotions, retirements, and winning a big game. Individuals who’ve achieved a lot in their lives have even greater reasons and opportunities to smoke cigars – not to mention the time and money.

Exclusivity of Cigars

Thanks to the number of draconian smoking bans, there are fewer places than ever before to buy and smoke cigars today, reinforcing the public perception that cigars are “forbidden fruit.” The notion that cigar lovers must enjoy special privileges to consume them contributes to our understanding that they’re only for the elite. However, if you’ve ever hung out in a cigar bar or lounge, you’ll realize cigar smokers from all walks of life share an almost immediate mutual bond. You’ll discover the most diverse groups of people conversing and getting to know one another over the cigars they’re smoking. Cigars bring people together.

Cigars Are More Expensive Today

Not all cigars cost a fortune, but there’s no question premium cigars have gotten considerably more expensive in recent years. It’s easy to spend $12-15 for one cigar. Rare and limited-edition cigars can cost over $50 apiece. A lot of budget-friendly cigars start at $5, although you can still find plenty of affordable bundles for under three bucks per cigar. When you add the egregious taxes applied in most states to the price of cigars, a box of premiums really adds up.

The bottom line is cigars are perceived as a luxury that only wealthy people can afford. Sure, some cigars cost a pretty penny, but most folks spend substantially more at Starbucks on a regular basis if you want to compare the price of discretionary expenses. In the grand scheme, you shouldn’t feel too guilty relaxing over a premium handmade once or twice a week when you’re adding up your monthly entertainment budget.

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