Robert Glick, owner and artist of Art de Fumar, was busy talking back-to-back with retailers coming through his booth but was able to squeeze in 30 seconds to tell us a little bit about the art he creates.
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What Are Cigars?
Cigars are tube-shaped tobacco products made from tightly rolled, cured, fermented leaves. They can be smoked and emit nicotine and other cancer-causing chemicals. Smoking cigars causes lung diseases, such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis, and increases the risk of heart disease in smokers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition, secondhand smoke from cigars can irritate the throat and lungs of non-smokers.
Unlike cigarettes, which contain only a small amount of nicotine, cigars may have ten or more milligrams. This difference allows cigar makers to blend multiple varieties of tobacco, which results in different strengths, aromas and flavors for their branded products.
The quality of a cigar is also influenced by its growing environment. For example, sun-grown fields in Central America and the Caribbean offer unique soil conditions ideal for producing high-quality cigars.
In order to maintain the integrity of a cigar, tobacco is carefully handled and maintained throughout the process. This includes seed selection and greenhouse cultivation, harvesting and curing. As with any handmade product, however, cigars aren’t the same; there will be minute variations from one to the next.
In the United States, cigar smoking has risen in recent years. Many cigar companies package their small cigars to resemble cigarettes and sell them in the same places where cigarettes are sold. In addition, they often sponsor music festivals and other lifestyle events to promote their products. These tactics were previously used by cigarette companies, but the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement and 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act prohibit such marketing strategies because of the connection to youth tobacco use.