How do I smoke a Cuban cigar

Puffing a cigar - this is how you really enjoy cigars

In the world of aficionados there are many - sometimes unwritten - laws and techniques that distinguish a true connoisseur from an occasional smoker. For example, if you bite off your cigar head manfully instead of cutting it cleanly with a cigar cutter, you are acting - contrary to what some films suggest - neither cool nor clever. Biting off can damage the wrapper and even make the cigar inedible (not to mention the tobacco crumbs in the mouth, which repeatedly interfere with enjoyment). One of the most important techniques for enjoying cigars is smoking itself. In contrast to smoking cigarettes, the smoke is not inhaled (inhaled) into the lungs, but only sucked into the oral cavity. There it is “tasted” for a moment before it is exhaled again. Anyone who speaks of smoking cigars actually means: puffing a cigar. Pipe tobacco is usually consumed in the same way. Even so, there are some cigar and pipe smokers who inhale the smoke. What speaks against it and why you can ruin your health faster than puffing is explained in more detail below.

1. Puffing a cigar is the real pleasure of smoking

2. The quality of the cigar determines the intensity of the smoke

3. About the nicotine content of cigars

Puffing a cigar is the real pleasure of smoking

Smoking a cigar is less about simply satisfying the need for nicotine and tobacco - cigars are on average too expensive for that. Rather, it is a passion that takes a certain amount of time and where every step follows a fixed pattern. After the cigar has been cut at the correct end, it is time to light it. The cigar is turned slightly between thumb and forefinger so that the hot flame of the cigar lighter can ignite all layers of tobacco evenly. This process, called toasting, is followed by the phase in which most of the puffs of the cigar are taken within a short period of time. This is to give the cigar a final glow so that there is a decent amount of smoke developing. Here, too, the smoke that gradually penetrates through the tobacco layers is not inhaled. Once the cigar is lit, the really relaxed part of the enjoyment begins. Experienced cigar connoisseurs are of course so practiced that they already experience lighting as a pleasure and remain calm here. It is ultimately a matter of practice and habit.

Now you start to enjoy the cigar by puffing. This means that, unlike cigarettes, the smoke is not inhaled deeply into the lungs, but only drawn into the oral cavity. It should be noted here that you take your time for the trains. In the enjoyment phase, it is important to "taste" the fine tobacco aromas from the smoke. The aromas are absorbed by the taste receptors in the lining of the mouth, and they should be given some time to do this before blowing the smoke out of the mouth again. A few seconds are enough. Once the cigar has burned, it is completely sufficient to take about one puff per minute and let the aromas take effect. Some smokers puff even more slowly. More frequent puffing is not recommended, because otherwise the smoke will become too hot and the fine tobacco aromas will suffer. It's the same with pulls that are too strong.

What exactly happens in the body when puffing a cigar will only be briefly touched upon here: The smoke is distributed in the mouth in order to reach the taste buds on the tongue, in the oral mucosa and on the palate. The nerve endings of the trigeminal nerve, which are located in the nasal and oral mucosa, are also involved in the taste sensation, primarily for irritating properties such as sharpness, tingling and warmth. The taste buds in the mouth can only signal the basic tastes typical of cigars, bitter or sweet. It is only in interaction with the sense of smell and the brain's attempts at interpretation based on previous experience that the complex taste experience of a cigar emerges. It is also the case that one believes to perceive such fine aromas as coffee, chocolate, grass, wildflowers, leather or spices in cigar smoke. But it is this belief that makes cigar smoking the fascination that sensitive connoisseurs appreciate.

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The quality of the cigar determines the intensity of the smoke

The intensity and frequency with which you can puff a cigar also depends on its quality. First of all, the physical properties of the cigar play an important role. Depending on how well she has worked, her pulling resistance will vary. Cigars with perfect draw resistance are rolled / folded with the appropriate care, so that you instinctively notice how hard you have to draw so that the full spectrum of aromas can unfold. Cigars with a low draw resistance burn faster and get quite hot if you pull them too hard. As a result, the smoke usually tastes pungent and bitter. Conversely, if the cigars are rolled too closely, it is difficult to experience a sensible development of aromas. If the draw resistance is too great, the cigar will not puff properly. The cigar format also influences how long you can enjoy a cigar or how fast you can smoke it. Smaller and thinner formats burn faster and taste correspondingly sharp if you pull too hard.

For the taste development when puffing the cigar, the tobacco used, i.e. where it was grown and how it was treated, is of course decisive. It is well known that many strong cigars come from Cuba, because the climate and soil conditions there produce mainly such tobaccos. The Dominican Republic, on the other hand, is known for the mildness of its tobacco, even if some tobacco varieties are grown there that were originally bred in Cuba. The composition of different high-quality tobacco products results in a corresponding variety of aromas in a cigar. In order to experience and taste this variety, it is important to puff the cigar.

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About the nicotine content of cigars

The last third or fourth of the cigar is usually not smoked because it acts as a filter and cooler for the smoke. If the embers move too close to the cigar head, the smoke becomes too hot to continue puffing the cigar. However, this filter property cannot be compared with that of a conventional filter cigarette. The nicotine content of cigars and pipe tobacco is much higher (100 to 400 milligrams) than that of cigarettes (approx. 8 milligrams) and is not reduced by the "filtering" tobacco layers. The variety of tobacco and shapes of cigars means that precise information about the nicotine content of cigars is practically impossible, which is why it is not prescribed by law. In addition, the cigar smoke contains more toxins such as tar, benzene and benzopyrene. For these reasons, too, lung smoking cigars and pipe tobacco is not recommended. When puffing a cigar or pipe, the nicotine is absorbed through the oral mucosa, but much more slowly, so that it does not have a stronger effect than a cigarette. Most of the toxins are exhaled with the smoke and do not get into the lungs. Even so, regular cigar puffing is not much healthier than smoking in general.

Ultimately, cigars and other tobacco products are like all other luxury foods: Too much is unhealthy. The experienced connoisseur knows how to weigh up what risk he is taking and what it is worth to him. All those who puff their cigars carefully do so hardly to satisfy a craving for nicotine, but solely because of the grandiose taste experience that a fine cigar offers.

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