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Stogie Commentary: Knowledge is Power!

19 Oct 2006

While the Internet certainly helps disseminate tips, reviews, and news about stogies to interested parties – and there are a number of great websites (including this one) that do so – cigars are still a convoluted topic for your average Joe. This is unacceptable.

I say this because I know (and I’m guessing you do too) many people who enjoy cigars but have very little knowledge about their makeup, construction, and qualities. They prefer certain brands or types or sizes to others, but can’t put into words why.

In a lot of ways, this naiveté is OK. Smoking is about personal enjoyment and, as long as you’re enjoying yourself, more power to you. But I have a feeling more people would take pleasure in cigars more often if they had the capacity to appreciate them better.

I believe cigar manufacturers and enthusiasts both have a vested interest in an educated stogie populace. On the supply side, the more people know about cigars, the more they are likely to appreciate and purchase them – generating bigger revenue for cigar companies and more jobs in the Third World countries that produce cigars.

For consumers, while this increased demand does result in higher prices, it also breeds better quality, as manufacturers seek to satisfy the public’s thirst for better tobacco, and more choice, as manufacturers implement creative product and marketing strategies to increase their share of the market.

True, the cigar boom of the 1990s resulted in higher prices and decreased quality (because new manufacturers were rushing bad products to market to meet high demand), but almost all of those operations were short-lived. As my colleague mentioned in last Wednesday’s post:

It doesn’t take an economist to figure out that consumers are going to be turned off by a combination of declining product quality coupled with increased prices. So by 1999, cigar consumption dropped almost by half. Thankfully, this meant that many of the fly-by-night operations responsible for the worst cigars of the cigar boom closed their doors.

Most importantly, increased knowledge of cigars allows individuals to find the best cigar for them at the best price. In fact, that’s the main reason we started in the first place.

So, since you’re into cigars (if you’ve read this far you pretty much have to be), get your hands on the best information available and absorb as much as possible. And encourage your friends to do the same. We’ll all be better off.

Patrick A


4 Responses to “Stogie Commentary: Knowledge is Power!”

  1. FireJimBowden Thursday, October 19, 2006 at 7:32 am #

    A while back I met a friend of a friend whose job it was to travel around the country for the maker of a brand of blended liquor (brand and type escape me at the moment), offering clinics where the attendees tried all of the component liquors, learning about the process, flavor of each, etc., and then ultimately tasted and learned about the nuances within the finished product. I've not been to many cigar promotional events, but I think if a similar offering was available for learning about cigars it would be a great resource for beginners and experienced smokers alike.

  2. Patrick A Thursday, October 19, 2006 at 11:21 am #

    Yes, I agree. Many cigar promotional events include free literature on the brand, its history, and why they choose the tobaccos they do. One Macanudo event even included handing out samplers of free fumas composed of different types of tobacco they use in cigars. The whole idea is a good one. You get people more interested in your product the more educated they are about it.

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