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The Portsmouth 1492 Club is a place to share the enjoyment & knowledge of smoking cigars.

we have a Facebook group page setup, for local people to share information, details, photos and all things cigars.

We intend to have meet ups, at local landmarks /pub gardens.

This is also the place to see notifications on latest deliveries, cigar nights information,

and request a cigar to be added to our cigar menu.





If we’re to believe that Central American Mayans (probably in Guatemala or the Mexican Yucatan) in or before the 10th century were the first to use tobacco in the form of a rudimentary cigar.



Images on pottery from the time show the Mayan tobacco might have been rolled, not too tightly, in a corn husk or some sort of leaf. What we would call the filler is thought to have been so strong that it caused hallucinations.

The Mayans also made beverages from tobacco.  The name ‘cigar’ possibly derives from the Mayan word ‘sicar,’ meaning to smoke rolled tobacco leaves.

The Mayans took tobacco with them when they migrated in later centuries as far north as Canada and south to Chile. What is unclear is whether they took their rustic cigars across the Caribbean to the islands. Very likely, there was independent tobacco use in Hispaniola (today’s Haiti and Dominican Republic) and Cuba, and likely in other parts of the hemisphere. 

Certainly by 1492, when Christopher Columbus reached the islands, cigars were being smoked by the natives. European discovery by a couple of Columbus’s sailors is Logged at October 12, 1492, in Cuba. The Taino [TAH-ee-no] natives were reported to have been smoking a cigar made of dried tobacco leaves wrapped in palm or plantain leaves. 

When Columbus and other explorers took tobacco back to Europe, smoking the leaf became immensely popular.


Spain opened cigar factories in Cuba and limited international exportation. The cigar became more refined, wrapped in tobacco instead of other plants, and gained tremendous monetary value as a crop that was grown in many nations and colonies. 

The French ambassador to Portugal, Jean Nicot, from whose name comes the word ‘nicotine,’ introduced tobacco and cigars to France in the late 1500s. The A La Civette tobacco store opened in 1716 in Paris and is still there today. 

The first US tobacco that was of a quality high enough for cigars was originally grown in Windsor, Connecticut, around 1640.

Tobacco is said to have been introduced into this country in 1586; it was placed under a duty of 2d. a pound in Elizabeth's reign. The duty on Virginian tobacco was raised to 6s. 10d. by James I. Under this sovereign the industry became a monopoly, and the Virginia planters were limited to an export of 100 lb. a year. Tobacco is said to have been first smoked at the 'Pied Bull' at Islington, and the number of tobacconists' shops in London in 1614.

The signs of tobacconists' shops in the 18th century generally consisted of a large wooden figure of a black Indian, wearing a crown of tobacco leaves and a kilt of the same material. He was usually placed at the side of the door, above which hung three rolls, also cut in wood. The decorated cards or shop-bills of tradesmen at this period were often designed by artists of repute. Hogarth in his early days designed one for 'Richard Lee at ye Golden Tobacco-Roll in Panton Street near Leicester Fields,' which much resembles his Modern Midnight Conversation. Another curious tobacconist's sign consists of three hands issuing from an arm; the first holding snuff, the second a pipe, and the third a quid of tobacco; attached to this are the lines:-

We three are engaged in one cause; I snuffs, I smokes, and I chaws.


So Columbus Day is a national holiday in many countries of the Americas and elsewhere, and a federal holiday in the United States, which officially celebrates the anniversary of Christopher Columbus's arrival in the Americas on  - 

October 12, 1492

So thats why we are called The Portsmouth 1492 Club

We dont promote smoking, we just share our experience and understanding.

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