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It was Columbus who discovered the island of Cuba on 28 October, on that magical voyage of 1492, whilst searching for the New World. He came across the natives of the New American Continent smoking tobacco leaves, roughly rolled into a shape they called "cohiba" - known to us today as a cigar.

Christopher Columbus was not so impressed with the new custom and it soon fell to the European sailers to bring this new culture to the masses. As far as Great Britain is concerned, the man responsible for the introduction of tobacco to this country was Sir Walter Raleigh. By the late 1700s cigar manufacturers were being set up in Germany and France, but cigar smoking did not boom here until the early 1800s, during the Peninsula war.

Over five centuries later cigars are produced throughout the world, although arguably the best cigars are still made in Cuba, but there are many other countries which make fine cigars, such as Honduras and the Dominican Republic.