A good year ago, the cover story in Cigar Journal was about them. The percentage of them on our tasting panel is growing. Davidoff is dedicating them their own event series … we are talking about women who smoke cigars.
Back in 2009, in the United States, a hub was set up especially for women in the branch – the International Women’s Cigar Society (IWCS). The society, which, in its beginning stages, was primarily supported by Christian Eiroa of Camacho Cigars and Kaizad Hansoita from Gurkha Cigars, in the meantime has 140 members. Many years ago, specialists and manufacturers had already seen the need to specifically support women in their hobby. Simply for the reason that the proportion of women on the market showed a strong upswing.
The idea of IWCS was to give women a voice in a male-dominated industry.
The platform IWCS not only unites the distribution, the manufacturing and supplier side, but also the cigar smokers themselves, and women’s cigar clubs have found their point of contact in IWCS.
Every year, during the IPCPR (International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers), the society gives the Women’s Impact Award for outstanding efforts in the cigar business to a woman who particularly supports the “feminine” part – either through training, consultations or active networking.
In 2013, Cynthia Fuente received the award, following Diana Silvius and Janelle Rosenfeld from previous years.
As well as a focus on an extensive women’s cigar club network, which the IWCS has built up over the last few years, the society provides retailers and manufacturers with learning material that is specifically focused on women consumers.
A consumer study of 500 women cigar smokers is currently being undertaken. The results will be announced at the upcoming IPCPR.
“The idea of IWCS was to give women a voice in a male-dominated industry. We want to organise our efforts in order to give our ideas ears, and also to implement them.
We have personally observed the increase in women cigar smokers, and wanted to address them as a viable market, and to give them representation,” explains Mary Lynn Kane, president and founding member of the IWCS.
Cigar Journal will continue to follow and report on the activities of the IWCS in the future.
International Women’s Cigar Society
International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers (IPCPR)
This article was published in the Cigar Journal Spring Edition 2014. Read more