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  • Writer's pictureBen Balliro

How Can We Make a More Female Friendly Lounge?

Updated: Oct 16, 2021

Well now that is an interesting question. How can we, the male population, make a cigar bar/lounge/tobacco shop more female friendly? We read article after article basked on interview questions from female cigar smokers that they wish the lounges were more catered for the female clientele. What does that mean exactly? As I’ve written in my previous blog this industry is slowly but surely becoming a woman’s world. For a very long and still revealing time women are being used mostly for sex appeals to sell cigars because let’s face it, sex sells; always has. Recently over the past 5-10 years or so I’ve seen an influx of women in the cigar industry on a more professional level. They are becoming leaders of manufacturing and blending as in the case of Lissette Perez-Carrillo, of E.P. Carrillo cigars. She grew up in the cigar industry and is very familiar with tobacco and blending and all aspects of the family business.

I came across this article from Twitter on a website called written in August of last year. In it 5 different women from various walks of life who also love the leaf get asked the most basic questions regarding women in the industry. Questions such as, “Do you feel women are well-represented in the premium tobacco industry?” In terms of marketing or outreach, what are cigar manufacturers, brands and even retailers getting wrong when it comes to women?, and for those women who don’t smoke cigars, what do you feel is the biggest reason why they don’t, and how can they get over this to get into the category?. These are tough questions because it’s simply trying to ask what part does a woman have in a mostly male-dominated society?

Now I have visited a few cigar lounges in my day and although one might stereotype that it’s “designed for men” I don’t find that to be necessarily true. I will grant you that men are usually the gender found in cigar shops. I propose that we find out what women don’t like about a cigar lounge and improve it. In the article previously mentioned a woman by the name of Liucita Moran says,”...when I do speak to women about cigars, their biggest complaint is the smell of the smoke itself. They don’t like the lingering smell of the smoke on their clothes or hair.”

So perhaps the the lounge could use for some better ventilation. I can tell you from experience, even as a seasoned cigar smoker, walking into a bar or lounge where it looks like London fog had a child with an ashtry is still a little much for me sometimes. On this point I can agree with Luicita.

Another woman by the name of Tejada says this,”I believe very deeply that women are misunderstood in this industry...women are still seen for their sex appeal before their intelligence and abilities, especially in such a male-driven market”. I think these are valid questions and should be explored in depth with the female cigar smokers. It seems to be an area of market share that the male-dominated-cigar-smokers community should pay more attention to.

All in all though, I do see some women coming forward and letting their presence be confidently known that they deserve to smoke a good Havana like anyone else. I will concede though that I simply don’t hear or see nearly as many women in the forefront of the industry in general. I think it’s easy, all too easy, for women to feel shunned out of the “boys only” clubhouse, but let’s face it it does cause an odor on your clothes, it’s not the healthiest vice around, and it can be messy and not really meant to be enjoyed in most public places. That’s why I recommend more female friendly smoking lounges around the country. If you have any suggestions or recommmendations for this female-friendly style lounges, let us know! Find us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook as Cigar Tipsters.

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