Go back not so many years and you probably won’t find any references to filters for cigars; maybe you will find the words “cigarillo” or “cheroot” in relation to cigars that were not as big as normal; but, it is doubtful if the makers of these described their products as “little cigars”. Cigars were meant to be somewhat “macho” and this implied that larger sizes were preferable.
A cigarillo could be as short as 3 inches and, usually, never more than 6 inches long with a diameter of no more than 3/8 inch whereas the larger cigars could be up to 9 inches long and ¾ inch in diameter (the Gran Corona). Being made from chopped tobacco, cigarettes were hardly referred to at all by cigar aficionados who preferred the taste and aroma produced from savoring the smoke of a cigar that had been hand rolled from whole tobacco leaves. Naturally, since they were seeking a taste sensation, they would never think of filtering anything out of the smoke.
But, Times And Tastes Change
In relatively recent years, there have been significant changes in the way in which we view the whole subject of tobacco use. Principally, concerns over health issues have led the way in these changes but taxation considerations have also played their part.
Because of the damage that tobacco smoke can do to anyone inhaling it; we have; on the one hand, tobacco companies bringing out new (so called) safer products – such as the introduction of filters that claim to eliminate the dangerous part of tobacco smoke. While; on the other hand, we have legislation restricting where we can smoke tobacco; how it can be advertized; and, where it can be sold (and to whom).
Tobacco has long attracted the tax men and, since cigars were thought to be safer than cigarettes, they were granted a lower rate of taxation (since revoked). Small cigars of the cheroot shape (a straight rod without tapers at its ends) are not only cheaper to hand roll; but, they are also ideal for production on automatic machinery which further lowers their cost.
Real tobacconist shops are becoming something of a rarity so more and more people are buying their tobacco products in bulk from online stores. Furthermore, restrictions on where and when these products can be smoked have resulted in great demand for something that can be consumed (smoked) relatively quickly.
Add all of this together and it is easy to see not only how Filtered Little Cigars came into being; but also, why they have become so popular. A typical online cigar store carries a number of different brands of these small, filtered smokes.