Size and Shape

Cigars are commonly categorized by the size and shape of the cigar, which together are known as the vitola.
The size of a cigar is measured by two dimensions: its ring gauge and its length.

Parejo
The most common shape is the parejo, sometimes referred to as simply "coronas", which have traditionally been the benchmark against which all other cigar formats are measured. They have a cylindrical body, straight sides, one end open, and a round tobacco-leaf "cap" on the other end which must be sliced off, have a V-shaped notch made in it with a special cutter, or punched through before smoking.


Figurado
Irregularly shaped cigars are known as figurados and are sometimes considered of higher quality because they are more difficult to make. Historically, especially during the 19th century, figurados were the most popular shapes; however, by the 1930s they had fallen out of fashion and all but disappeared. They have, however, recently received a small resurgence in popularity, and there are currently many brands that produce figurados alongside the simpler parejos.


Little Cigars
Little cigars differ greatly from regular cigars. They weigh less than cigars and cigarillos,but, more importantly, they resemble cigarettes in size, shape, packaging, and filters. Sales of little cigars quadrupled in the U.S. from 1971 to 1973 in response to the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act, which banned the broadcast of cigarette advertisements and required stronger health warnings on cigarette packs. Cigars were exempt from the ban, and perhaps more importantly, were taxed at a far lower rate. Little cigars are sometimes called "cigarettes in disguise", and unsuccessful attempts have been made to reclassify them as cigarettes. In the United States, sales of little cigars reached an all-time high in 2006, fueled in great part by their taxation loophole.