USA Today recently ran a story about renewed interest in the cigar industry following restoration of relations between the U.S. and Cuba. The story looks forward to the day when Cuban cigars will again become routinely available to U.S. smokers. In an effort to explain the seemingly fanatical interest in this tobacco product, the paper concludes its article as follows:
After a long, stressful day of traveling, few things feel as good as lighting up. The caustic English writer Evelyn Waugh was uncommonly mellow when he observed, “The most futile and disastrous day seems well spent when it is reviewed through the blue, fragrant smoke of a Havana cigar.”
This statement is widely quoted and attributed to Waugh on the internet, but these quotes are not accompanied by a source reference. Waugh does write of the “sweet, rich smoke of a Havana cigar” in Brideshead Revisited (Penguin, pp. 114-15) but in that image the pleasant aroma is mixed with the “smell of dirt and disinfectant” as Charles, Sebastian and Boy Mulcaster await release from a jail cell. As a source, that is, at best, “close, but no cigar.” If anyone reading this knows the source of the quote in the USA Today article, will they please write in a comment in the space provided below.