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Cigar 101: A Beginner's Guide to Cigars for 2021

Cigars are an enjoyable pastime for many people. They can be a great way to relax and unwind, or they can provide the perfect accompaniment for a special occasion. But there is more to cigars than just smoking them!

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There’s no need to be intimidated by the world of cigars, we can help! We have everything from beginner-friendly products that will get you started on the right foot, all the way up to high-end pieces that will turn heads with their craftsmanship and style. If you want something simple or something extravagant, we have it all here waiting for you.

Don't know where to start? Check out our Beginner's Guide To Cigars which is designed specifically with newbies in mind! It'll walk through how cigars are made, what they're made of, why they taste different than cigarettes (and why that's a good thing!), plus some tips on how best to store them at home once they arrive. And if there's anything else we can do just let us know - after all this is your journey into the world of cigars and we want it as smooth as possible!

Tobacco Smoking Health Effects

Cigars are a type of tobacco that differs from most other types because they have air-cured and fermented tobacco. They can vary in size, shape, and they generally contain between 1 gram to 20 grams of tobacco.

Are cigars worse than cigarettes?

Cigar smoke, like cigarette smoke, contains toxic and cancer-causing chemicals that are harmful to both smokers and nonsmokers. Cigar smoke is possibly more toxic than cigarette smoke. Cigar smoke has:

  • A higher level of cancer-causing substances: During the fermentation process for cigar tobacco, high concentrations of cancer-causing nitrosamines are produced. These compounds are released when a cigar is smoked. Nitrosamines are found at higher levels in cigar smoke than in cigarette smoke.

  • More tar: For every gram of tobacco smoked, there is more cancer-causing tar in cigars than in cigarettes.

  • A higher level of toxins: Cigar wrappers are less porous than cigarette wrappers. The nonporous cigar wrapper makes the burning of cigar tobacco less complete than the burning of cigarette tobacco. As a result, cigar smoke has higher concentrations of toxins than cigarette smoke.

Furthermore, the larger size of most cigars (more tobacco) and longer smoking time result in higher exposure to many toxic substances (including carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, ammonia, cadmium, and other substances).

Cigar smoke can be a major source of indoor air pollution (1). There is no safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke. If you want to reduce the health risk to yourself and others, stop smoking. - National Cancer Institute

The CDC (Center for Disease Control) states that "A cigar is defined as a roll of tobacco wrapped in leaf tobacco or in a substance that contains tobacco. Cigars differ from cigarettes in that cigarettes are a roll of tobacco wrapped in paper or in a substance that does not contain tobacco."

"Cigars contain the same toxic and carcinogenic compounds found in cigarettes and are not a safe alternative to cigarettes." - CDC

Is cigar smoking safer than cigarette smoking?

Answer From J. Taylor Hays, M.D, Mayo Clinic

No. Cigars are not as safe to smoke as you may have thought. Even if you don't inhale the cigar, it still exposes your body to nicotine and other harmful chemicals like formaldehyde (burning tobacco) that can lead to a dependence on tobacco.

Like cigarette smoking, cigar smoking exposes you to:

  • Nicotine. Cigars, like cigarettes, contain nicotine, the substance that can lead to tobacco dependence. A single full-size cigar can contain nearly as much nicotine as does a pack of cigarettes. If you inhale cigar smoke, you can get as much nicotine as if you smoked cigarettes. And even if you don't intentionally inhale, large amounts of nicotine can be absorbed through the lining of your mouth. Smoking cigars instead of cigarettes doesn't reduce your risk of nicotine dependence.

  • Secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke from cigars contains the same toxic chemicals that secondhand cigarette smoke does. This type of smoke can cause or contribute to lung cancer and heart disease. It also increases the risk and severity of childhood asthma, ear infections, and upper and lower respiratory infections in children.

Can cigar smoking cause cancer?

All tobacco smoke contains chemicals that can cause cancer, and cigar smoke is no exception. Regular cigar smoking increases the risk of several types of cancers, including cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and larynx. Cigar smoking has been linked to oral and dental diseases, such as gum disease and tooth loss. - J. Taylor Hays, M.D. for the Mayo Clinic

Are cigars addictive?

Cigar smokers are at risk for addiction, even if they don't inhale the smoke. A single cigar can provide enough nicotine to a smoker's system that it becomes addictive without having been smoked. The nicotine in cigars is absorbed into your body through two routes-either by inhalation or absorption of saliva on the inside lining of your mouth and cheeks while smoking. It doesn't matter which way you get addicted; either route allows for high levels of nicotine buildup within minutes, making them very dangerous! - National Cancer Institute

What if I don't inhale the cigar smoke?

Cigars are a unique experience that not everyone is willing to take on. Unlike nearly all cigarette smokers, most cigar smokers do not inhale and have lower rates of lung cancer, coronary heart disease, and lung diseases than those who smoke cigarettes but higher rates of these diseases than those who don't smoke cigars at all. - Cancer.gov

The Complete Beginner's Guide to buying, smoking and enjoying cigars

There are 3 common types of cigars (Large, Cigarillo, Little Flavored)

  • Large Cigars

Smoking a large cigar takes time. These are by far the most popular of all three types. Typically contain at least one-half ounce of aged, fermented tobacco (i.e., as much as a pack of cigarettes) and usually take 1 to 2 hours to smoke. It's not something people do casually like smoking cigarettes or pipe tobacco in the morning on their way to work, it should be an event for you and your friends.

  • Cigarillos

Cigarillo cigars are perfect for when you don't have much time to smoke. They're a bit shorter and narrower than your typical cigar so they can be smoked in less time, usually only 3–4 inches long with about three grams of tobacco inside, and often does not include a filter.

  • Little filtered cigars

Filtered flavored cigars are nowhere near what you will experience smoking a real cigar. Perfect when you're pressed for time and more popular among the inexperienced youth as an entry-level product leading to the granddaddy large cigar later on. Containing about three grams of tobacco inside, th