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Sometimes it's OK to be proud. That's what we are today -- proud. Proud that CIGAR AFICIONADO has survived (and even prospered) in the 10 years since it was launched. Proud that we have remained true to our original mission of telling our readers about the best of the good life. Proud that we never rested on our laurels, even during the peak of the cigar renaissance, and that we always tried to make each new issue better than the one before.

An anniversary is a time to take a look back.

In the first "Editor's Note," we laid out our vision. "CIGAR AFICIONADO may not be for every man. But we do dream about creating a very special magazine for the individual who wants the very most out of life. If you share that desire, welcome. This magazine is for you."

With that promise, we embarked on a journey through the good life. Our stories have guided readers to some of the best, and most unusual, locations on earth and to some of the most exciting adventures they can experience. CIGAR AFICIONADO hasn't always just focused on luxury or just about things that are expensive, but we have highlighted what it takes to enjoy life to the fullest, wherever and however you can find it. We have discovered what "the best" really means.

If one accomplishment stands out above all the others, it is this: the cigar has become a cultural icon in America. Ten years ago, when CIGAR AFICIONADO was first published, there was a chorus of skeptics who doubted a magazine about cigars could survive in an increasingly antitobacco America. But by the mid-1990s the skeptics were silent, and cigars had been transformed from being props for criminals and blue-collar union bosses into a symbol of the good life, a sign of good taste and style.

Cigars appeared in the hands of doctors, lawyers, politicians and a virtual army of Hollywood celebrities. Across the nation, restaurants created special smoking rooms or sections for cigar smokers. Cigar bars became popular, and new retail cigar shops opened by the hundreds. Cigars became a media event. Today, their place in America is secure, a reminder that some of life's pleasures can be enjoyed in moderation.

Anniversaries also are the time to take a look forward.

We remain dedicated to creating a world where the pleasures of the good life are part of everyday life. We are a men's magazine. We believe, however, that our message goes beyond cigar-smoking men. We embrace everyone who has ever dreamed about experiencing life's greatest pleasures. We welcome every man, or woman, who wants more knowledge about top-flight wines, the most exotic destinations, the finest clothes, the most challenging golf courses, the best-built cars and the latest high-tech gadgets. We are the premier source for that kind of information.

Yes, we are on a crusade to convince the world that there is a place in everyone's life to step back and enjoy the finest things in the world, especially accompanied by a great cigar. It's been a great 10 years. The next 10 will only be better.