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Cigar 101

The Benefits of Cigar Smoking

J. Bennett Alexander Alexander's picture

J. Bennett Alexander

Look, no doctor is going to tell you that any kind of smoking is good for you. That’s what my orthopedist told me as we shared a couple Ashton ESG cigars at a cigar lounge I visit occasionally. He added that many physicians will tell you that smoking one or two cigars a week poses little risk, but not none. You decide. Still, we know that cigar smoking has some very clear benefits for your mood and general disposition. As my doctor friend said, “It’s my way to reduce stress.”


Well, beyond the fact that cigars are delicious, they allow you to relax. In fact, you’re almost forced to step away from the day’s turmoil to smoke your cigar. You have to find a place where you can sit for at least 30 minutes and then savor what you’ve just lit up. If you do it right, you’ll be a lot calmer when you’ve finished the cigar than when you started. If you’re alone, you can take the time to focus on matters of importance to you without feeling compelled to move along.


While, often, smoking a cigar is a solitary pursuit, doing so presents opportunities for meeting like-minded aficionados. I’ve made new friends at a later age in life because we share a love of cigars. Cigars also help create occasions to get together and catch up. We’re all busy. Okay, I’m not really that busy, but most folks have demands on their time. My experience is that getting in touch with friends and proposing a cigar get-together works very well. As a good friend has taken to saying, cigars are a great “social lubricant.”

Conversation Starter

A subset of the social experience, cigars can help start a conversation. I often have a cigar or two in my shirt pocket and I frequently get asked about them. More than once I’ve been asked by moms whose sons are in the military if I can recommend a cigar to send them overseas. I’m always ready with suggestions, but I also ask where the kids are based and send some of my extras to the moms to send along. The cigars helped expand my exposure to folks I likely would not otherwise meet.

The Experience

While some of my friends take cigar smoking to ritualistic levels, I find the experience itself engenders education. Sure, mostly about cigars, but the mind stays active when learning about anything. I like to find out what tobaccos are being used by manufacturers, what new blends are out there, who’s making great cigars. I’ve met people in the business who have become friends and whose backgrounds and interests are far different from what one might expect. I learn from them.

All in all, cigars have generally enhanced my mood and my perspective on life. That’s also why we smoke cigars to celebrate. I know that I look forward to smoking a cigar and am happy when I’m doing so.

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