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Are Cigars Organic?

By January 15, 2007

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Handmade premium cigars consist of 100% tobacco, unlike cigarettes and machine made cigars that may contain paper, preservatives, and/or other additives. Therefore, premium cigars are natural agricultural products, just like apples and oranges. However, also like apples and oranges, most cigars are not certified as being 100% organic. According to a famous online cigar retailer, there is only one 100% certified organic brand of cigars, and that brand is Plasencia Reserva Organic Cigars (Compare Prices). However, since most cigar companies follow at least some of the procedures for growing and processing premium cigar tobacco organically, the majority of premium handmade cigars might possibly be considered semi-organic. Regardless, I have tried several types of organic foods, but I am still undecided if they are really worth the higher prices. You are welcome and encouraged to add your comments to this article, below.

Comments

January 26, 2007 at 11:15 am
(1) John says:

Organic tobacco does not exist. Organic means grown without fumigation which is impossible for tobacco. Tobacco needs to be fumigated in the fields against all kind of bugs. Also, the biggest cigar companies do not process the tobacco they use in their cigars. They outsource to third-party companies, that’s the case for Altadis and General Cigars.

January 26, 2007 at 1:07 pm
(2) arthur says:

John’s comment above is not true and based on supposition. I have been to the fields and I have seen the process. No chemicals are used to grow the tobacco. Organic pesticides are used to protect against infestation. The soil is enriched with worms. The growing part of this process is completely organic, and the Plasencia’s have a certificate from QAI to prove that this is the case.

However this may be, there is another process that occurs after the tobacco is
harvested. I cannot say with 100% certainty that the processing and fermantation part of the process is chemical free. I was assured by the Plasencias’ that this is the case, but they do not have certificate for this part of the process.
Organic certifcation is an expensive and time consuming process. It requires many visits by QAI to their factory to test the tobacco and the soil at all stages of the process.

This project has been started by the son of Nestor Plasencia. He is very proud of the work that has gone into making this unique product. We are proud to have an exclusive to bring this labor of love to market.

January 26, 2007 at 2:32 pm
(3) John says:

Ok, let suppose that they grow the tobacco without fertilizer… Then it need to be dry, then fermented and cured. All those steps can be done with chemicals EXCEPT that tobacco as well as cigars NEED to be fumigated against LASIO. All manufacture fumigate the bales of tobacco (raw tobacco) and their humidor at least once a month to avoid infection. I really doubt that Plasencia don’t fumigate their cigars. I’ve been in the cigar manufacturing for the last 15 years and I can tell you you can’t have REAL organic CIGARS. That’s impossible. The real organic cigars I tried are the one made by the torcedores in the field when they just roll their own smoke with non fermented tobacco.

January 27, 2007 at 11:57 am
(4) Mitchel says:

I have talked to Nestor about these cigars he is a farmer and is extreamly bright about all cigar aspects they are organic

September 11, 2007 at 8:49 pm
(5) arthur Zaretsky says:

I will not pass judgement on the above speculation about the cigars being fumigated with chemicals. I won’t say that it is impossible to use organic pesticides to prevent infestation, not “infection”.
I will forward this to Nestor Plasencia Jr.
Perhaps he will chime in.

December 12, 2008 at 11:31 am
(6) PaulR says:

My cocern is with formaldehyde,which is a known Carcinogen. Is this chemical still used in the processing/fermenting?

April 30, 2009 at 5:21 pm
(7) jeremy says:

I was in class the other day and the teacher was talking about Radon and other carcinogens being in the fertelizers that tobacco growers use and those chemicals are being absorbed by the plants and that is what is causing cancer instead of the actual tobacco leaf. I thought is was interesting and wonder if any “organic” cigars have been grown without these kind of fertilizers. I am unsure as to what people mean when they say organic. To me organic means no added chemicals, but I think the people who label the products organic have a different legal definition of the term.

August 13, 2009 at 4:53 pm
(8) Chris D says:

If a crop is NOT certified organic it was most certainly grown with whatever chemicals (and/or genetic modification) necessary to insure that it makes it to market! It is all about the money, not your health, or the environment. Sorry.

Most tobacco farming is indeed the same, in the regards of using synthetic chemicals to insure crop success. I however, seriously dont think any farmers would ever use synthetic chemicals or toxins on their crops if they could be shown organic methods of growing that are as, or more, cost effective than present methods. Perhaps one day it will be better for the bottom line to grow organically, how it was once done, than to use the synthetic chemicals and GMOs of today.

We are all very lucky to have a guy like Nestor doing what he is doing with organic tobacco these days. A true pioneer! Hopefully, his example will show other growers that tobacco can be grown economically without harmful chemicals.

Lets face the music, these chemicals sprayed on our foods and tobaccos are just not good, period. They do there jobs sure, to kill and keep pests and fungi away but I cant help to ask myself, what will be the final cost to the consumer and environment if we continue to compound the problem and do we truly want to wait and see?

Gary, yes I do think organic products are worth it when we look past the dollar and cent cost at the register and truly see the whole picture. Buying organic is much more than just a meal or a smoke!

September 28, 2010 at 4:33 pm
(9) Nestor Andres Plasencia says:

Gentlemen
Sorry for my late answer. A few days ago my friend Arthur Zarestky asked me to reply this blog and now is the time.
We grew organic tobacco since the year 2000. It’s been a great learning experience because all the process is fascinating; we have learned a lot of the biology of the environment and the tobacco plant itself.
We used organic fertilizers such as cow manure and chicken manure also we used humus which is a product produce by earth warms while they ate the cow manure. Tobacco plant is a heavy feeder so a lot of fertilizer is required. Fertilizer was one of our biggest treads because you have to have a plant completely grown in 90 days but with this kind of fertilizers we achieved our goal.
Then we have to fight against deceases and bad insects and we used organic pesticides for that as well as biological control with natural enemies for those pest.
In the fermentation process we have our biggest enemy which is Lasio as John says, but there is a way you can kill the bugs and the eggs without using any chemical fumigations and that is with temperature. If you froze the tobacco at a temperature of -20 degrees celcios for 72 hours you kill all the Lazio and the eggs that are in the tobacco. And this is the process that we use in our operations.
Organic tobacco is also more labor intense and the certification process is expensive and time consuming as Arthur says but we are willing to do it because we love it and we put a lot of effort trying to get the best out of our fields and our plants.
As I said before this process in fascinating and we still learning with every crop. This is only a small explanation of this incredible tobacco and we are very proud to be able to offer to you guys all this work in a form of a wonderful cigar.

May 31, 2011 at 10:21 pm
(10) Zenjirou Yajima says:

I am very excited about hearing about this brand of Organic Cigars. The main concern about non-organic tobacco is the use of Phosphate Fertilizers, which contain radioactive elements.

So does Plasencia Organica use Phosphate fertilizers? If so, It seems that this would be the only tobacco on earth that doesn’t.

September 26, 2011 at 4:55 am
(11) Jaime Bednaro says:

Wow!!! Gentlemen!….I did not know there should be, nor have to be a fight about such an important issue… if you two gentlemen could come to a mutual aggreement for the good of us all? That would be a Good thing…Complicated as the subject is…and would like to know… is there a grower of tobacco that is “on Board”…. we will find out! Wether is is Brazil, Nicaragua, Dominica…or even here in the US.

Organically grown Tobacco and the ability to procuce “Premium” Hand rolled Cigars …..is the trend….
Step up to the Plate and just make it happen….otherwise you will lose out….

Simply, Make it happen.

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