habanos sa and cubatabaco between them do all the work relating to cuban cigars, including manufacture, quality control, promotion and distribution, and export. cuba produces both handmade and machine made cigars. all boxes and labels are marked hecho en cuba (spanish for made in cuba). machine-bunched cigars finished by hand add hecho a mano, while fully handmade cigars say totalmente a mano in script text, though not all cuban cigars will include this statement. because of the perceived status of cuban cigars, counterfeits are somewhat commonplace.
despite american trade sanctions against cuban products, cigars remain one of the country's leading exports. the country exported 77 million cigars in 1991, 67 million in 1992, and 57 million in 1993, the decline attributed to a loss of much of the wrapper crop in a hurricane.
a cigar is a tightly-rolled bundle of dried and fermented leaf tobacco which is rolled in a series of types and sizes that is ignited so that its smoke may be drawn into the mouth. the origins of cigar smoking are still unknown. in guatemala, a ceramic pot dating back to the tenth century features a mayan smoking tobacco leaves tied together with a string.