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Written by Kevin Godbee

Monday, 22 December 2008

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It's amazing just how many people seem to think that cigars and cigarettes are just the same. An old lady came up to me in the park the other day while I was smoking my cigar to tell me what a dirty habit I had. Obviously she didn't know that I am a connoisseur of fine, hand-made imported tobacco products called cigars.

A premium handmade cigar is more of a luxury product to be savored, whereas a cigarette is just an addiction that needs to be fed. Comparing a cigarette to a premium cigar is like comparing Thunderbird to Dom Pérignon.

Here's a little basic education for those in need.


 

 

Tobacco Content
The average cigarette holds less than one gram of tobacco regardless of the brand or the country of origin. Not only do cigarettes contain such a small amount of tobacco but they’re also have several chemical additives.

Cigars on the other hand are completely natural, containing only tobacco and no chemical additives. That is why a cigarette will keep burning after it is lit, and a cigar will go out if not puffed on for a while. It's quite common for some premium cigars to contain as much tobacco in a single cigar as you would find in an entire packet of cigarettes, but one cigarette is more harmful. Aside from having all the extra additives, a cigarette is inhaled into the lungs and a cigar is not.



Types of Tobacco
Most cigarettes contain a blend of different types of tobacco that come from areas in the US such as Virginia and North Carolina. The tobacco is shredded and rolled in paper. Cigars generally contain tobacco from central and South America and the full leaves are used in handmade cigars.

Smoking Time and Focus
A cigarette smoker can puff his way through a single cigarette in just a few minutes and even the slowest cigarette smoker can be finished with his or her cigarette in under ten minutes. Cigars take much longer to smoke and some of the larger cigars can take more than an hour to finish.

Smoking a cigarette is often done in conjunction with some other activity where the concentration of the smoker is rarely focused on the cigarette. The cigarette smoker is just feeding his addiction.

Smoking a cigar is an event and something that is to be savored and enjoyed. The cigar is the focus of the smoker's attention and anything else he or she may be doing is completely secondary. It's more like enjoying a fine glass of wine.

The Act of Smoking
Most cigarette smokers draw the smoke from their cigarettes down into their lungs to gain the full effect that they are seeking. Most cigar smokers draw very little cigar smoke into their lungs for they get the full effect simply from the taste so they keep the smoke from their cigars in their mouth.

Manufacture
The vast majority of cigarettes sold commercially come from an automated manufacturing process and while there are machine-made cigars on the market, we are concerning ourselves with cigars that are hand-rolled and aged. The quality of a hand-rolled cigar is far superior than the quality of any cigarette.

The container that holds the tobacco in a cigarette or cigar is also quite different. The tobacco in a cigarette is wrapped in paper or some other non-tobacco material whereas the tobacco in a cigar is wrapped in natural tobacco leaf.

Additives
As we all know cigarettes contain a variety of additives and some can be quite alarming. For example saltpeter is often used in cigarettes to ensure that the cigarette burns evenly. You will never find such additives in a fine cigar for they only contain tobacco.

Those are just some of the differences between cigarettes and cigars and I'm sure that you can now see that comparing cigarettes and cigars is not much different to comparing apples and oranges.




Comments 

 
0 # Mylesfromnowhere 2009-01-16 11:14
I was an ex cigarette smoker of 5 years when I tried my first cigar given to me by a friend last summer(R&J#2) in many ways it was like discovering an old friend... I did enjoy the process of smoking and it was a prop as much as anything. Once I tried a decent Cigar I cant believe how it gave birth to the cigarette. I cant imagine ever smoking a cigarette again. The product have little in common. Now if I inhaled a cigar I could see me back to smoking 2 packs a day. So I have to be aware. It is the difference between drinking a fine wine and piss ass moonshine my grandfather made out of potatoes and rotten apples but someone who has never smoked a cigar will ever get this.

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