Table of Content
- What is Cigar Smoking?
- What Are the Different Types of Cigars?
- Why Don’t You Inhale Cigars?
- The Effect of Anatomy and Physiology
- The Effect of Chemistry
- How do you savor the flavor of a cigar?
- Choose the Right Size
- Cut the Cigar Properly
- Light the Cigar Properly
- Smoke the Cigar at an Appropriate Pace
- How to store cigars?
- The Difference between Cigar and Cigarette Smoking
- Key Takeaways
When it comes to cigar smoking, there’s a certain allure and sophistication that sets it apart from other forms of tobacco use. But one factor that often puzzles newcomers is why you don’t inhale cigar smoke. The truth is, the art and enjoyment of cigar smoking is quite different from that of cigarette smoking. It’s a world steeped in tradition, ritual, and a distinct appreciation for flavor and aroma. In this article, we aim to shed light on the unique characteristics of cigar smoking, the reasons why you don’t inhale cigars, and tips to savor its distinct flavors. From the chemistry behind the tobacco to the correct way to light a cigar, we’ll delve into the intricate world of cigars and cigar smoking. So, whether you’re a seasoned aficionado or a novice in the cigar world, this guide will offer some invaluable insights.
What is Cigar Smoking?
Cigar smoking is an activity that involves the burning and inhalation of the smoke produced by the leaves of the Nicotiana tabacum plant, which are rolled into a cylindrical shape. A cigar is distinguished from a cigarette by its size, composition, and the process of its manufacture. The art of cigar smoking is a timeless ritual that dates back to the ancient Mayans and has evolved into a symbol of luxury and sophistication. But unlike cigarette smokers, cigar smokers don’t inhale the smoke.
Instead, they draw it into their mouth and savor the complex flavors of the tobacco before exhaling. This method of smoking allows the smoker to appreciate the bold, distinct taste of the cigar, which can range from woody and earthy tones to hints of coffee, chocolate, and even fruit. It’s a sensory experience that combines taste and smell, where the main goal is not nicotine intake but rather the enjoyment and appreciation of the unique flavors and aromas.
What Are the Different Types of Cigars?
When it comes to cigars, variety is certainly the spice of life. The world of cigars offers a diverse range of choices, each with their unique characteristics and flavor profiles. The type of cigar you choose can significantly impact your smoking experience, so understanding the different types is crucial.
- Corona: This is perhaps the most common size and shape of cigar, known for its straight sides and rounded head. Usually, they’re about 5.5 inches long with a ring gauge of 42-44. Coronas offer a balanced smoke that can be enjoyed by both beginners and seasoned aficionados.
- Robusto: These are shorter, thicker cigars that are popular for their rich flavor and quick smoke time. They typically measure about 4.5 to 5 inches long with a ring gauge of 50. Robustos are ideal for those who desire a full-flavored experience in a shorter smoking session.
- Churchill: Named after the famed British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, these cigars are longer and deliver a prolonged, relaxing smoke. They measure around 7 inches long with a ring gauge of 47. Churchills are perfect for seasoned smokers seeking a long, leisurely smoke.
- Toro: Similar in size to a Churchill but a bit thicker, Toro cigars provide a steady, even burn and a well-rounded flavor. They usually measure 6 inches long with a ring gauge of 50.
- Belicoso: These are tapered cigars with a pointed head, offering a concentrated, flavorful smoke. Belicosos are typically 5 to 5.5 inches long with a ring gauge of 50.
These are just a few examples of the different types of cigars available. Each type offers a unique smoking experience, from the intensity of the flavor to the duration of the smoke. Choosing the right type of cigar can greatly enhance your enjoyment of this timeless tradition.
Why Don’t You Inhale Cigars?
Contrary to cigarette smoking, you don’t inhale when smoking a cigar. But why is that? The reasons are rooted in both the anatomy and physiology of the human body and the chemistry of cigars.
Firstly, the smoke from cigars is much heavier and stronger than that of cigarettes due to the fermentation process of the tobacco leaves used in cigars. This creates a higher concentration of nicotine and toxins. If inhaled directly into the lungs, it can lead to a harsh and unpleasant sensation, often causing coughing and discomfort.
Secondly, the flavor of a cigar is far more complex than a cigarette. The enjoyment from cigar smoking comes from savoring the rich, intense flavors and aromas in the mouth and nose, not from inhaling the smoke into the lungs. Inhaling the smoke not only bypasses this sensory experience but can also lead to an overwhelming rush of nicotine.
In the following subsections, we delve deeper into the anatomical, physiological and chemical reasons why you don’t inhale cigars. We will also provide insights on how to truly savor the flavor of a cigar, enhancing your cigar smoking experience.
The Effect of Anatomy and Physiology
The human respiratory system is not designed to inhale the dense and heavy smoke produced by cigars. When we inhale, the air travels down our windpipe and into our lungs, where oxygen is absorbed into the bloodstream and carbon dioxide is expelled. This process is optimized for the inhalation of air, not heavy cigar smoke. Inhaling cigar smoke can irritate the airways, causing discomfort and potential health risks.
Moreover, the mouth and nose are loaded with sensory receptors that are primed to detect flavors and aromas. Cigar smoking capitalizes on this physiology, focusing on the taste and smell of the smoke rather than inhalation. This is why cigar smokers draw the smoke into their mouth, savoring the flavor, and then exhale without sending the smoke down into their lungs. This method allows for a more enjoyable and flavorful experience, free from the harsh sensation that would occur if the smoke was inhaled.
To understand why we don’t inhale cigars, it’s essential to also consider the chemistry of cigar smoke. Let’s delve into that next.
The Effect of Chemistry
Chemically speaking, the smoke produced by cigars is different from that of cigarettes. The tobacco used in cigars undergoes a fermentation process, which causes a higher concentration of nicotine and other compounds, including ammonia and carbon monoxide. The smoke produced is therefore denser and stronger.
If inhaled, this dense smoke can cause a harsh and potentially overwhelming sensation in the lungs, leading to coughing and discomfort. On the contrary, when the smoke is drawn into the mouth and exhaled without inhaling, cigar smokers can savor the complex flavors and aromas without the harshness.
Besides, the high nicotine content of cigar smoke can lead to an intense rush of nicotine, which can be unpleasant and even nauseating, especially for novice smokers or those unaccustomed to such high levels. This is another reason why cigar smoke is not inhaled.
In conclusion, the unique chemistry of cigar smoke, with its high concentration of nicotine and other compounds, is one of the main reasons why you don’t inhale cigars. Instead, the focus is on savoring the rich and complex flavors in the mouth and nose, making cigar smoking a truly sensory experience.
Now that we know why we don’t inhale cigars, let’s look at how to truly savor the flavor of a cigar. We will cover tips on selecting the right size, cutting, lighting, and smoking at an appropriate pace.
How do you savor the flavor of a cigar?
When it comes to cigars, the experience is all about savoring the rich and complex flavors. Unlike cigarette smoking, which is focused on nicotine intake, cigar smoking revolves around the sensory experience of tasting and smelling the distinct flavors of the tobacco. But how do you maximize this experience? Here are some tips:
- Choose the Right Size: The size of the cigar can impact the flavor and duration of the smoke. Larger cigars tend to have a richer, more complex flavor and last longer. Smaller cigars may have a milder taste and burn out quicker. Choose a size that suits your preference and the amount of time you have to enjoy the cigar.
- Cut the Cigar Properly: The way you cut your cigar can affect the draw, which in turn can impact the flavor. A clean, straight cut will usually provide the best draw, allowing you to get the full flavor of the cigar.
- Light the Cigar Properly: Using a butane lighter or wooden match, toast the foot of the cigar before taking a puff. This helps to ensure an even burn, which can enhance the taste of the cigar.
- Smoke the Cigar at an Appropriate Pace: Puff the cigar every minute or so to keep it lit and to maintain the flavor. Smoking a cigar too quickly can cause it to overheat, which can produce a bitter taste.
By following these tips, you can truly savor the unique flavors that cigars have to offer. Remember, the goal of cigar smoking is not to rush but to relax and enjoy the experience. Whether you’re a seasoned cigar smoker or a beginner, these tips can help you make the most of your cigar smoking experience.
How to Store Cigars?
Proper storage is essential to maintaining the quality and flavor of your cigars. Unlike cigarettes, cigars are sensitive to their environment. Storing them correctly can mean the difference between enjoying a rich, flavorful smoke and being left with a dry, tasteless stick.
Cigars should ideally be stored in a humidor, a specially designed box that maintains a constant level of humidity to mimic the tropical climates where most tobacco is grown. The ideal humidity for storing cigars is between 68% and 72%. This prevents the cigars from drying out, which can cause them to burn too hot and too quickly, spoiling the taste.
Temperature is another crucial factor. The ideal temperature for storing cigars is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Too much heat can cause the cigars to dry out, while too little can lead to mold growth.
Lastly, cigars should be stored away from strong odors as they can absorb these smells, altering their flavor. Storing your cigars in a clean, odor-free humidor will help maintain their original flavor profile.
By following these storage guidelines, you can ensure that your cigars remain fresh and flavorful for as long as possible, maximizing your enjoyment of this unique smoking experience.
The Difference between Cigar and Cigarette Smoking
Although both cigars and cigarettes involve the act of smoking tobacco, they offer distinctly different experiences. Each has its own set of rituals, methods, and expectations that contribute to the overall smoking experience.
When smoking a cigar, the focus is not on nicotine intake but rather on the enjoyment and appreciation of the unique flavors and aromas. Cigar smokers savor the smoke in their mouths without inhaling into their lungs. This approach allows them to taste the complex flavors of the tobacco and appreciate the art and ritual associated with cigar smoking. Moreover, cigar smoking is often viewed as a leisurely activity, meant to be enjoyed over a longer period, unlike the quick, addictive fix associated with cigarette smoking.
On the other hand, cigarette smoking is typically a faster process, primarily aimed at delivering nicotine to the body. Cigarette smokers generally inhale the smoke, which is lighter and less harsh than cigar smoke. The flavors and aromas are less complex, and the experience is more about the physical act of smoking and nicotine consumption rather than savoring flavors and aromas.
Additionally, the health risks associated with cigar and cigarette smoking are different. While both carry significant health risks, cigars contain more tobacco and typically more harmful chemicals than cigarettes due to the fermentation process. Cigar smoke is also denser and contains more toxic substances, increasing the risk of oral and throat cancers, even if the smoke is not inhaled.
Overall, the key difference between cigar and cigarette smoking lies in the experience each provides – one is a slow, leisurely pursuit of flavor and aroma, the other a quick method of nicotine delivery.
As we explore the fascinating world of cigars, several key points emerge:
- You don’t inhale cigars: Unlike cigarette smoking, where the smoke is inhaled into the lungs, cigar smoking involves savoring the smoke in the mouth and nose. This is due to the strong, dense nature of cigar smoke and the high concentration of nicotine and other compounds. Inhaling cigar smoke can cause discomfort and an overwhelming rush of nicotine.
- Savor the flavor: The enjoyment of cigar smoking comes from appreciating the rich, complex flavors and aromas of the tobacco. Tips to maximize this experience include choosing the right size of cigar, cutting and lighting it properly, and smoking at an appropriate pace.
- Store properly: Cigars are sensitive to their environment and should be stored in a humidor at the right temperature and humidity to maintain their quality and flavor. Avoiding strong odors is also important as cigars can absorb these smells, altering their flavor.
- Cigar vs. Cigarette Smoking: The key difference lies in the experience each provides – cigar smoking is a slow, leisurely pursuit of flavor and aroma, whereas cigarette smoking is a quick method of nicotine delivery.
Remember, cigar smoking is not just about nicotine intake but a sensory experience that combines taste and smell. Whether you’re a seasoned aficionado or a novice, understanding these key points can enhance your appreciation and enjoyment of this timeless tradition.
In conclusion, the art of cigar smoking is a unique and rewarding experience that hinges on savoring the complex flavors and aromas of the tobacco, rather than inhaling the smoke. This tradition, steeped in history and sophistication, offers a sensory journey that sets it apart from other types of tobacco consumption. Choosing the right cigar, adopting proper smoking techniques, and storing your cigars correctly can significantly enhance this experience.
The world of cigars is expansive and diverse, offering a myriad of flavors and experiences. Understanding why we don’t inhale cigars, how to truly savor their flavor, as well as the difference between cigar and cigarette smoking, can help both novices and seasoned aficionados appreciate this timeless tradition even more. It’s a journey of taste, aroma, and relaxation that invites you to slow down, relax, and indulge in the finer things in life.
As you delve further into the world of cigars, remember to savor each moment, appreciate each flavor, and most importantly, enjoy the experience. Happy smoking!