Last updated on December 6th, 2017 at 06:39 am
This is an honest question and one you have to ask yourself before you start investing time, money and your social capital in this hobby.
The Health Costs of Smoking Cigars
The number one thing that holds many people back from starting a hobby in cigars is the worry of the health affects that tobacco has on you. It’s a legitimate concern and I’m not going to sugar coat it. Tobacco is dangerous to consume and it can be hazardous to your health.
I’m also going to be realistic. We don’t really know how much tobacco consumption it takes to cause ill health affects and the dreaded c-word! My uncle occasionally smoked a pipe for most of his life and died of lung cancer. He was also a private pilot and the doctors said that was likely the cause. My grandfather smoked a pipe every single day from his twenties up until he died from natural causes in his 80’s. We really don’t know how these things happen or why.
Most cigar smokers cite historical occurrences for the health effects of cigar smoking. Civil War General Ulysses S. Grant smoked several cigars a day for most of his life. Not only did he inhale them but smoked them to the end! Sigmund Freud is purported to have done the same thing. Both men died of cancer. If we try to use math and say, ‘well if I only smoke one a day and don’t inhale’ then I’ll be okay’ we feel much more safe and justified. I remember reading a guide on a cigar forum years ago that stated (from a doctor) 1-3 light cigars a day that were not inhaled is okay. To be honest, no one is really sure except that tobacco is dangerous and can be addictive.
I have never experienced tobacco addiction. Granted I don’t smoke cigarettes and I don’t inhale cigar smoke but I have never felt a craving for it. In the course of a year I usually have about two dozen cigars, more or less based on weather and when friends can visit. I have never had an urge or a longing to NEED tobacco. Usually my decision to smoke a cigar is a multitude of perfect circumstances coming into balance like free time, good weather, a great drink, peace of mind, etc. That said, it is very easy to be addicted.
And yes it does need to be mentioned. Smoking of any kind is harmful. Inhalation of any kind of burning material, whether it be campfires or farm equipment is harmful to your health and others. Someone who smokes a pack a day of cigarettes can die of old age and be relatively healthy and someone who only smokes a few cigars a year could get cancer and die early.
The Social Cost of Smoking Cigars
Another question you have to ask yourself is if you want others to know that you smoke cigars. Cigar smoking is a social crime in the 21st century and its only going to get worse. Most states and countries have banned indoor smoking in public and many large cities are banning smoking outdoors. Like it or not, your smoking does impact others if they are around and you absolutely have to be responsible of second hand smoke and what it does.
If you have children, a spouse or live with other family is it responsible to smoke inside the house near them? Absolutely not! Regardless of your political feelings toward smoking bans, this one is a no-brainer. Show yourself and others that you have respect. Don’t smoke near anyone that does not consent to being there with you. And if you have children around, don’t smoke!
Going back to the social element, people will treat you differently if you smoke. Generally, cigar smoking has a certain coolness or gentleman’s aura to it that many people like but for many tobacco is tobacco and it’s all the same. You have to be careful about your employers stance on smoking and any social groups you are a part of like civic societies, church groups or hobby memberships. Some will terminate their relationship with you because you smoke. You have to consciously consider that decision. There is no law against firing you or disowning your membership because you smoke. How you handle yourself has a direct impact on how that organization is seen in public. It’s not a matter of free speech.
The Financial Costs of Smoking Cigars
Finally, if you have decided you can live with the health effects and social stigma of cigar smoking you have to consider the financial costs. You can do it cheap but to truly enjoy this hobby and do it right you will have some initial expenses that might seem high and cigar prices are showing any signs of decreasing as the number of overall smokers dwindles and the government regulations on the companies that produce them are tightened.
That said, cigar smoking can be very affordable on a monthly or annual basis compared to cigarettes. In fact, people with a pack a day habit could easily use that money to buy a car or make a home upgrade. Your cigar hobby will likely be less than the cost of your monthly Internet or phone bill.
I will show you some helpful tips, trick, and my least favorite Internet word “hacks” that can save you money. However, humidors that are aesthetically pleasing and provide safety and optimal humidity to your cigars are going to cost about $100. A reliable lighter and a good cutter can easily cost another $50. Then when you are ready to smoke, your average, decent cigar is going to cost you $5-10 depending on where you buy it. That may not be a lot of money to some people but to others it will be a huge turn off.
When you are deciding, ‘is cigar smoking right for me?’ you need to consider some of the questions I have presented for you. The three biggest concerns you have to look into are the health effects of tobacco, the social stigma associated with tobacco use, and the costs associated with this hobby.
This page will be updated frequently to give you more examples and more detail about each topic.