Are you supposed to inhale cigar smoke

Do You Inhale Cigars?

Cigar smoking has long been synonymous with sophistication and relaxation. However, for those who are new to the world of cigars, the question often arises: “Do you inhale cigars?” Our team will delve into the etiquette and nuances of cigar smoking, providing a comprehensive answer to this commonly asked question.

Do You Inhale Cigars?

So, do you inhale cigars? The short answer is no. Most cigar aficionados and experts will advise against inhaling cigar smoke for several reasons. Below are a few of the most common reasons that you shouldn’t inhale cigar smoke:


Cigar smoke is significantly more robust and concentrated than cigarette smoke. Inhaling it can lead to coughing, dizziness, and even nausea, especially for inexperienced smokers or those with sensitive lungs. Enjoying premium cigars or full bodied cigars should be a relaxing experience for cigar smokers but if you are inhaling smoke into your mouth and deep into your lungs it can be too intense for most smokers.

Nicotine Absorption

Cigar tobacco tends to have a higher nicotine content than cigarette tobacco. However, due to the slower pace of cigar smoking and the fact that the smoke is not inhaled, nicotine absorption is significantly lower. Inhaling cigar smoke increases the risk of nicotine overdose and can cause symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, sweating, and tremors.

For this reason most cigar smokers will avoid inhaling cigars and will always exhale smoke fully. A common misconception is that cigar smoke doesn’t have more nicotine compared to cigarettes but this isn’t always the case depending on the type of cigar you are smoking. Inhaling cigars could potentially lead to health risks such as lung cancer or other health issues as described by the American Cancer Society

Flavor and Aroma Appreciation

As mentioned earlier, the primary purpose of cigar smoking is to savor the flavors and aromas of the tobacco. Inhaling the smoke can overwhelm your palate and diminish your ability to appreciate the subtle nuances of the cigar. Some cigarette smokers will switch over to becoming cigar smokers but will continue to inhale the smoke which can ruin the experience.

For this reason we recommend you smoke a cigar properly by focusing on gently pull the smoke into your mouth, hold it for a few seconds, and expelling smoke completely without inhaling. You can read about the best place to buy cigars online to find our recommendations for online stores to find the most flavorful and enjoyable cigars on the market.

What Happens If You Do Inhale Cigar Smoke?

When one chooses to inhale cigar smoke, they expose themselves to an array of undesirable consequences that detract from the intended cigar-smoking experience. Inhaling the dense, potent smoke can lead to immediate discomfort such as coughing, dizziness, and even nausea, particularly for those who are new to cigars or have sensitive respiratory systems.

Moreover, the deliberate savoring of the intricate flavors and aromas of the cigar, which is the cornerstone of the cigar-smoking ritual, becomes significantly impaired. In addition to these drawbacks, inhaling cigar smoke facilitates a higher absorption of nicotine, increasing the risk of nicotine overdose and its associated symptoms, such as rapid heartbeat, perspiration, and trembling.

Ultimately, inhaling cigar smoke is not only detrimental to the enjoyment of the cigar but also poses potential health risks that can lead to smoking related mortality. Cigarettes as well as cigars can cause damage to your mouth, nasal cavity, lungs, and other areas of your body. It is important that you understand the potential dangers of inhaling smoke.

How To Properly Smoke A Cigar Without Inhaling

If you’re not supposed to inhale cigar smoke, how should you smoke a cigar? The process of properly smoking a cigar is quite simple:

Cut The Cigar

Use a sharp cigar cutter to snip off the cap, which is the closed end of the cigar. There are a few different methods of cutting a cigar which will vary depending on the type of cigar you are smoking, the tool you are using, as well as your personal preference.

We typically recommend you use cigar cutters to help provide a clean cut through the wrapper leaf which will enhance your cigar smoking experience. Different cigar sizes and shapes might require a different method of cutting them such as cutting a torpedo cigar will be different compared to a standard cigar.

Light The Cigar

Hold the foot (the open end) of the cigar at a 45-degree angle above the flame of a butane lighter or wooden match, rotating it to ensure even lighting. You want to make sure that you provide the cigar with enough heat that it is evenly lit and will stay lit over the entire time you are smoking.

The lit end should stay lit for a long time as long as it is inhaled quickly and isn’t left alone for too much time. You must make sure to supply plenty of oxygen to keep your cigar lit.

Draw In The Smoke

Place the cigar between your lips and take a slow, gentle puff without inhaling. Allow the smoke to linger in your mouth for a few moments, savoring the flavors and aromas before gently exhaling. The process of puffing without inhaling the cigar smoke might take some practice but you will get better.

Some individuals will decided to inhale a small amount of cigar smoke but typically it is recommended that you don’t inhale any of the cigar smoke. It is possible that inhaling smoke will cause a coughing fit or a bad flavor if you aren’t prepared for it. The taste of smoke will dilute the taste or flavor of the cigar from your mouth and nose.

Typically inhaling cigar smoke is only done by experience cigarette smokers who appreciate the sensation. But unlike cigarettes, premium cigars will provide a much more potent smoke compared to cigarettes.

The palate pick up will vary based on the type of cigar you have because some types such as ligero tobacco will provide a filtered sensation which other cigars wont offer. Many aficionados will decide to include their nose in the drawing process called retro hale where you draw the smoke into your mouth and then exhale a small amount out of your nose but never let the smoke enter into your lungs. This will provide your mouth, nose, and olfactory receptors with the ability to taste the flavor of the cigar.

Pace Yourself While You Smoke

Take your time between puffs – ideally, one puff every minute or so. Smoking too quickly can cause the cigar to overheat, altering the flavors and making the experience less enjoyable. If you are new to smoking cigars then you should take your time so you can enjoy the experience without rushing it. Gas station cigars won’t typically last as long compared to high quality hand-rolled cigars because of the materials used to roll them.

If you aren’t used to smoking cigars and you try to smoke too quickly then you could potentially experience cigar sickness or mild coughing. You should take a minute or two between each puffs to fully experience the cigar smoking process. A mild cigar or high quality cigar will provide a smoother and more favorable sensation for beginners.

The Cigar Experience: Flavor and Aroma

The first thing to understand about cigar smoking is that it is fundamentally different from cigarette smoking. Cigars are made from carefully selected, fermented, and aged tobacco leaves, offering a rich tapestry of flavors and aromas that are meant to be savored. The art of cigar smoking lies in appreciating these complex taste profiles, which can include notes of earth, wood, leather, spices, and even chocolate or coffee.

In contrast, cigarettes are typically made from a blend of lower-quality tobacco leaves and contain various additives, designed to deliver a quick nicotine hit. The emphasis in cigarette smoking is on the act of inhaling and absorbing nicotine, whereas cigar smoking is focused on the experience of savoring the tobacco’s nuanced flavors and aromas.

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