Cigar Aficionado's Glossary
of Cigar Terms
A clear, protective material that is put around many premium cigars. Cellophane was created in 1912. True cellophane is a natural substance made of cellulose, the main component in the cell wall of a plant. A machine makes tubes of cellophane, and workers in a cigar factory slip individual cigars within the tubes. The cellophane provides extra protection and slows the drying process of a cigar. Cellophane is increasingly popular in modern-day cigar sales, as many more cigars are sold individually, rather than in boxes, and having cigars in cellophane prevents damage to the cigars from excessive handling in cigar shops.
One of the most common questions asked of Cigar Aficionado editors is about removing cellophane from a box of cigars. Once you’ve bought the cigar and are placing it in your humidor, we recommend you remove the cellophane. Cellophane will prevent humidity from reaching the cigar, and you'll find the cigars will respond to humidification better if the overwrap has been removed. The same holds true for cigar tubes, whether glass or aluminum; these tubes will completely close off a cigar to humidification if left on. However, if you intend to transport your cigars (such as in a coat pocket), it may be a good idea to keep a few tubes or cellophane overwraps handy to protect the cigars during transport. We typically advise people to remove the cellophane if they intend to age the cigars, and to perhaps keep a few in the cellophane to provide for ease of transport.