Out of the Humidor
From the Print Edition:
J.P. Morgan, Mar/Apr 00
(continued from page 3)
I, of course, realize that the vast majority of cigar smokers are male, but in part I believe that's because the female population is neither actively marketed to nor, frankly, acknowledged. An authoritative publication such as yours must clearly see the void--no?
I cannot tell you how many times over the years I have overheard the smug comments, expressions of disbelief, ridiculous innuendo and the like when I light up a cigar in public. Even in a "cigar-friendly" facility I find myself being stared at unblinkingly on a regular basis.
I can't help but wonder if a little regular article/commentary in Cigar Aficionado on the woman cigar smoker wouldn't help to destigmatize my gender's cigar smoking. Believe me, it's at the very least awkward and sometimes downright difficult to enjoy a smoke, even in the company of a man, when people around you are so taken aback by the sight. Not to mention the tobacco shop owners who inevitably assume A) you're shopping for your husband/boyfriend, B) you haven't the first clue how to differentiate a robusto from a corona, C) the only thing you could possibly enjoy is a flavored cigar, D) you wouldn't know a humidor from a hothouse, or E) you must be one of those women who wears the pants in the family.
Ah, the bane of ignorance. What do you say we do something about this and attack these preconceptions with insight and information on a monthly basis? Please take my idea and exploit it. I promise you, you shall endear yourself for all eternity to the thousands of my gender's "silent smokers." You might even be surprised at the feedback you get from both the men and the women.
For the record, my personal humidors (I have two) are stocked with my favorites: Montecristo No. 2 torpedos, the old "nonbanded" Cohibas and the occasional--when I can get my hands on them--Fuente Fuente OpusX. OK, if you look closely enough you may uncover an Olivero Sweet or two, but hey, after all, I am a girl!
Editor's response: We have always welcomed women cigar smokers, and we have published articles focused on them (Summer 1995) and on women tobacconists (February 1998). That said, our magazine's mission has always been to explore the world of cigars and the good life from the male perspective (men make up roughly 95 percent of the U.S. cigar-smoking population). As for those who disapprove of women cigar smokers, I'm willing to wager that there are at least 10 times as many men who find such women a welcome addition to the cigar-smoking community.
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I wish to make a couple of additions and comments to Sam Gugino's article, "The Perfect Cup," in your December 1999 issue. Mr. Gugino certainly hits the spot regarding the poor extraction of espresso and the "abuse" of a fine product. We moved to Wisconsin (30 miles south of Green Bay and "Packerland") three years ago and found that two of my vices were nonexistent and scoffed at. There were little or no espresso services and virtually no public places to smoke my cigars. Although a couple of neighborhood taverns now tolerate my cigar smoking ("please smoke those smelly things in the corner by the open window") and a couple of "espresso" houses have opened, we decided to open our own espresso service in the form of Wisconsin's first mobile espresso van. As we both work full time, we have been operating part time, attending charitable and nonprofit special events.
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