Move over, gentlemen!
A group called the Lady Cigar Smokers of Chattanooga is hosting a weekendlong celebration of cigar smoking women and camaraderie in Chattanooga.
Festivities begin Friday, Nov. 8 and will include various smoking luncheons and dinners. Sunday, Nov. 10 will include a walk through Coolidge Park and a tour of the city for visitors.
Click here for a full schedule.
The event is free to all women cigar smokers but especially novices who have never enjoyed the pastime. Food and alcohol purchases are not included.
Cigar Smokin’ Ladies Weekend Extravaganza features an opportunity for novice smokers to gain an introduction into the local chapter of Lady Cigar Smokers, which was founded in December 2010.
In addition to the local chapter, members of the International Women’s Cigar Society will be in attendance. A Wisconsin chapter of the Lady Cigar Smokers will be making the trip for the weekend.
The weekend will also help raise money for a charity called CampedUP!, which aims to give hearing-impaired children in Manhattan an opportunity to go to camp. The charity was started by Arielle Ditkowitch of La Sirena Cigars, who will be in attendance at the Friday luncheon.
Kristy Lane is a founder of the local chapter of LCS. The Chattanooga chapter is the largest chapter, with 25 official members. The group regularly meets at either the downtown or east Burns Tobacconist locations.
Lane said preparing for an event like this is difficult because you need to have the perfect mix of activities and downtime for cigar smoking.
"I tried not to overwhelm them with a schedule," she said. "I don’t want to shove stuff down their throats. We’ll have a few meals, and then the rest of the time, we’ll just enjoy cigars."
Many people still think smoking cigars is taboo, much less women who smoke cigars, she said.
"There’s a lot of things you can get out of cigar smoking," she said. "We just started out as a couple of girls, and we wanted to get to know other people. We’ve built a very strong friendship and family. I never thought in a heartbeat that I’d be best friends with some of these women. It’s all about the camaraderie and relationships."
But it’s also about taking life a bit slower and forcing yourself to relax.
"Cigar smoking forces you to slow down and take a minute for yourself," she said. "When you light up a cigar, you know you’re going to be there for at least 45 minutes to an hour. You might as well enjoy it."
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