The first modern observation of the cigar occurred with the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the New World. On October 28, 1492 Columbus noted in his log reports that the natives of San Salvador burned and inhaled the leaves of a local plant. Rodrigo de Xeres, a lieutenant on Columbus's expedition became the first European to smoke the Indian's form of a cigar. Rodrigo smoked on every subsequent day of the expedition.
The Indians in South and Central America did not smoke cigars as we know them today. The natives smoked tobacco wrapped in maize, palm or other native vegetation. The Spanish created the cigar industry, and are given credit for creating the modern cigar.
The Origin of the word cigar comes from the native language of the ancient Mayans. The Mayans called the cigar a "Ciq-Sigan" which the Spanish word "Cigarro" is derived from. The New English Dictionary of 1735 called the cigar a "seegar", and was later adapted into the modern word "cigar".
Choosing a cigar is an individual thing. It depends on personal taste, availability and budget. When one walks into a well-stocked humidor it is easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of different brands and facings that line the walls. If you are fortunate to be in the shop of a reputable retailer then you can count on receiving some sound advice in choosing the perfect cigar to fit the occasion or mood. If not, then these suggestions may help you find a great cigar anyway.