About the only cigars I may smoke anymore are Swishers, or if I can find them a Parodi.But back when I was married to my first wife, her father was a big time exec with General Cigar Corp (later bought by Culbro Corp) and I used to get boxes of some pretty high dollar stuff all the time for free. My ex father in law had a darned walkin closet in his house converted to a humidor, and had cigars that would cost me a weeks wages...........talk about burning up your money. Odds are though he never bought them anyhow, and he always had lots of his stogies handmade in the special prooducts portion of the Cigar factory. My favorites back then was Robert Burns and White Owls, or most any cigar with a candela or maderra wrapper.
If you ever see how they make the more common cigars you would never smoke another one. I used to always go through the factory and at one time I worked as a machinist in the HTL (Homoginized Tobacco Leaf) plant. HTL is actually the stems and poor parts of rejected tobacco leafs ground up to a dust, then they add wood pulp, in the form of large 3 foot squares of pressed paper abaout 1/8" thick which is soaked ina hot water and emulsified. Then they add GAR which is a powder from India, and then add a batch of ceramic fiber (this holds the cigars ash together) Mix it all up and let chill, and then pump it out on a stainless steel belt to a thickness about like a piece of paper, that runs through a steam heated oven at 240 deg to dry it. Its then peeled off the belt and rolled into large 3000# rolls, that are later slit into narrower rolls that fit the automatic cigar making machines. Thats your basic wrapper for a cigar instead of the natural leaf. Fpor the filler they take return or outdated cigars and shred them along with more stems and coarse sections of leafs and shred the stuff up and spread it onto the HTL in one oven where it adheres to the HTL, andinstead of being rolled up like the HTL leaf it is diced into tiny pieces to be rolled in the HTL. I have seen folks throw old chicken bones, orange peels, portions of sandwhiches, spit into and literally sweep the floor into these hoppers that feed the grinders, and it all comes out in a cigar in the end. Ever get a small hard piece of something in one and it stinks really bad, now you know what it comes from..........but there is no telling what it is. Now I just have to say this. When I worked in the HTL division as a machinist, I had the misfortune to have three fingers cutoff when a hoists chain broke and a piece of steel plate to a cigar making machine caught me and nipped them off. One finger was found, the other two went through the system and wound up in a cigar(s) eventually. Even though they knew those missing fingers were probably in the feed system somewhere they would not shut the line down.........
We used to get big bags of "seconds" of most any cigar that General Cigar made that would be put in plastic bags and sold for 50 cents a bag. General has factories all over the world but oly one factory made HTL for all the other factories, as well as the filler material. And all seconds came back to the HTL division for re processing, so we used to be able to get some high dollar cigars for 50 cents a bag.
A real hand wrapped cigar costs some fair $$, but those cigar machines could spit out a couple of hundred a just a few seconds. Most all used the same HTL or filler, and only the flavoring and color was adjusted for each separate brand, but the price differences for esentially the same cigar had quite a large spread. Talk about a markup.
IIRC are not the cigars you like made in Puerto Rico? General had their hands in that country as well as lots of south american areas and the caribbean area.
Nope not anymore! Back in the sixtys my father worked constuction And a very large grocery chain built a huge processing plant in Horseheads NY. they got parts of it up and running before all the constrution guys got finished, he told many stories like yours. Big spills of corn syrup, chocolate, pasta they shoveled off the floor and back in the batch. Old guy got so he would not eat anything that came in a box, bag or can.But hey enjoy your cigar think about the guy that chews and the guy that makes the chew that chews I wonder where he spits yuky poo!
Guilty here, but not for long. I was an avid cigarette smoker and was up to 3 packs a day in 1988 when I quit. That lasted for 8 years until I started smoking cigars. That quickly escaladed into smoking 5-10 small mini sized cigars a day, and yes, inhaling them. I plan on quitting again in a few days.
I am not surprised about these horror stories from the factories. Unlike cigarettes, which I found to be as consistant as McDonalds, most cigars have serious quality problems. Many are broken, seep putrid resin, have a hard draw, have hard spots in them, and occasionally I'll get a flavored cigar mixed in with the others.
It is amazing how bad they make you smell and the level of lung stress they cause. I think cigatettes were way easier on the lungs but are wickedly addictive.
Never smoked either --- so I cannot tell you --- but I can tell you that cigars are way more damaging than cigarettes. Have had many personal friends develop cancer much quicker after using cigars...maybe it is the chicken bones or radioactive waste added to the cigars. --- Man, where is the heat on the cigar makers vs. the cigarettes, especially with the accepted poor quality. Perhaps, I will give my buddy at Dateline a call to schedule a documentary.
Not trying to rain on your smoking parade. Just adding my 2 cents.
Well, you know Jose is my favorite smiley -- edro: edro: edro: -- I CAN GET IT FOR YOU WHOLESALE
I smoke about 5 cigars, and 1 pack of cigarettes a day. When for some reason I can't smoke, I chew Redman. I don't care if cigarettes go to a billion dollars a puff, I ain't quiting. I wouldn't quit if it was the easiest thing in the world to do. I believe that 100% of everything in this world is bad for somebody. Tobacco is no worse on me than a grapefruit or peanuts, or, ______, fill in the blank, is on anybody else. I feel the same way about asbestos. I don't think asbestos is any more dangerous than eating a hamburger. Thats my story and I'm sticking to it.
Normally most any of the cheaper cigars are machine made, or at least that was true up until a few years ago. They can even duplicate a tobacco leaf right down to the veins in it all by using HTL. Its actually a mold that the HTL is injected into and out comes fake tobacco leafs already cut to shape and ready to roll.
The old machines used to cut out a tobacco leaf cost many many workers their fingers, as most were paid by the leaf count they had at the end of the shift. It was a wheel with a die in it, usually 2 dies per wheel. The die was full of tiny holes so that as a leaf is placed on the die it would get sucked down tight into the die and the male die would then come down and cut the leaf out, the die would then retract and the wheel would spin 180 deg to the next die, where the worked would again place another leaf, while the prviously cut leaf would be pulled off the other side. They had safety switches (photocells) that would keep these dies from cycling if the workers hands were under them, but this slowed down production somewhat, so lots of workers used to jumper the safety switches to allow manual cycling of the machine without its built in safety features. I removed a few fingers from these wrapper cutting machines during my stint as a macxhinist / mechanic.
To tell a hand rolled cigar look at the filler, it is usually longer cuts and not uniform, and if you look really close at the outer wrapper (leaf) you will see the real leaf is not as consistant in texture or fine veins as a man made leaf is. Machine made filler in cigars are more uniform in shape. They make some pretty darn good fake tobacco leafs.
Odds are if its in a celophane wrapper and sold in a drugstore or on the counter its a machine made cigar, as are most smaller cigars. Hand rolled are usually stated as they want that fact to be known, , and its not uncomon for these to be found packed in metal sleeves or glass tubes and come in fancy wooden boxes.
Usually a machine made cigar has the hole already in the end of it and you do not have to cut it, but thats not a given either. As the cigars come down a conveyor line all going side by side in a long row, a steam heated bar containing a series of pointed pins set to the spacing of these cigars is moved to the row of cigars and it forms the hole. The cigars are them dropped in packages, and up[ another conveyor, where an air jet that is preset to deliver a set amount of air flow is constantly supplying a stream of air. This air supply is set to an amount that a box that is full of cigars is heavy enough to keep the pack on the assembly line. If the pack is one cigar short, its much lighter and then this air ject will blow the pack off the line and into a reclaim box. Thats why you always get a full pack of cigars or cig's. Its all determined by air pressure applied to the packs, not counting.
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