I genuinely love cigars. My wife would not have married me if she knew this. My children and virtually all of my friends look at my love for cigars as a tragic flaw.

Cigar smokers have no friends among the public at large. This is in large part due to the fact that very few women smoke cigars and sadly – none seriously. Cigars bring indescribable bliss to the smoker and unusual hostility and contempt from almost everyone else.

Cigar smokers do not smell the smoke they produce, whether at home, in the car, or on the patio. Cigars enhance the enjoyment of a good meal, fine wine, exciting game, peaceful cruise, beautiful woman – and help offset the stress of a tough day, cold winter, rough ride, warm beer.

For a brief period of time in the 90’s, cigars were discovered by the hip – urban in crowd, and despite all efforts by the bottled water carriers to outlaw cigar smoking everywhere – cigar bars popped up – courageous restaurateurs created cigar friendly dining areas. We experienced a demand driven shortage of fine cigars, which was a bonanza for the producers, particularly in the Caribbean Basin, and for the cigar dealers around the world.

Cigar Aficionado made household words of Davidoff – Dunhill – Diamond Crowne. Ten to twenty dollars for a single Dominican Robusto – Three to four hundred dollars a box – and virtually every dealer on allocation.

This bubble has tragically burst as the inexorable anti-smoking fervor continues to accelerate. Today there is a glut of fine cigars, but as yet no meaningful downward pressure on prices.

Even in those few public places with designated smoking areas, in most cases smoking excludes cigars and pipes.

This is tragic as cigars, unlike cigarettes, notwithstanding the current propaganda, promote longevity and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke – by all but eliminating stress without inhaling.

Winston Churchill overcame the excesses of gout and alcoholism, thanks to dozen giant cigars daily, which today bear his name.

George Burns became a country and western star at 96 and attributed his vigor and longevity to gin martinis and cigars.

Mark Twain said, “If I cannot smoke cigars in Heaven, then I shall not go.”

For most cigar smokers of my acquaintance, Heaven is no longer an option. We fervently hope, however, that our final destination contains a well-stocked humidor and a tolerance for our passion.

It is extremely difficult to smoke four fine cigars daily in a world determined to put them out.

Fine cigars should be lit once and smoke completely. No way to huddle next to the dumpster in a snowstorm and grab a quick smoke.

Fine cigars need to be smoked slowing in a calm and peaceful environment. Sitting alone in the yard in the dark does little to maximize the benefit of a world-class Corona.

As a cigar lover, I see little hope going forward, except to seek out and band together with the diminishing number of true believers, and to continue to patronize those restaurants and bars with the courage to make us feel at home.