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Cigar 101

Why Do Some Cigars Give You a Buzz?

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

Cigars can give you a buzz, especially stronger ones. Factors like the size of your cigar, how fast you smoke it, and what kinds of tobacco it’s made from affect how much of a buzz you’ll get. We smoke cigars for the way they taste and their aroma, not to get a buzz, though. But, here are the reasons why you might get a buzz from smoking a cigar.    

Cigars & Nicotine

You don’t inhale cigar smoke, but nicotine still reaches your bloodstream when it’s absorbed by your palate. A cigarette contains one to two milligrams of nicotine, while a cigar contains 100 to 200 milligrams. The increased nicotine levels in a cigar are simply due to the fact that the average cigar is made from a lot more tobacco than a cigarette. But, cigars are meant to be tasted and smoked slowly – not huffed down to satisfy an addictive craving. Nicotine triggers the release of several neurotransmitters in the brain, notably dopamine, which stimulates a sense of pleasure and well-being. Essentially, this relaxed state is the “buzz” in a cigar.

Your Tolerance for Tobacco Matters

If you only smoke one cigar per year, you are more likely to get a buzz from smoking than someone who smokes a few cigars per week because the more you smoke, the greater your tolerance for nicotine becomes. However, most cigar lovers only smoke occasionally. They’re smoking for the taste, not to get a buzz. Some cigars are blended from stronger tobaccos, such as Ligero, which contains more nicotine because the leaves come from the upper section of a tobacco plant where more sunlight increases the intensity of the tobacco. Smoke milder cigars and work your way up to the stronger ones.  

The Size of Your Cigar

There are many reasons why cigar lovers prefer thin versus thick cigars, long versus short, and specific cigar shapes. Does the cigar feel comfortable in your hand and in your mouth? Do you enjoy the extra intensity of thinner ring gauges? How much time do you have to smoke? These are some of the questions that influence our choices. It’s important to choose the right cigar so that you’re not hurrying to finish something you didn’t have enough time to smoke, or you’re smoking more cigar than you can handle.

How Fast You Smoke

If you’ve ever been in hurry to smoke a cigar, you’ve likely crossed the threshold from getting a buzz to getting sick. A premium handmade cigar should be savored slowly. Puff on it every minute and relish its tasting notes and aroma. If you draw on your cigar five to six times a minute, the nicotine will surge in your bloodstream and eventually make you nauseous. Smoke your cigar gradually, and let it go out if you don’t have time to finish it.

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