Can you inhale cigars?

by Gary Korb

Q: I'm a former cigarette smoker who recently switched to cigars. It's hard for me to resist inhaling. Is that a no-no?
- Jim Cooper in W. Virginia


A: Traditionally speaking, yes. Although there are a number of cigar smokers who do inhale, it is not recommended or necessary for the enjoyment of premium cigars.

According to one of my sources, the chemical additives in cigarettes actually lower the temperature of the smoke, which allows you to inhale without too much discomfort. Premium handmade longfiller cigars are an all natural tobacco product. As a result, the smoke tends to be much hotter, not to mention thicker, and if inhaled quickly can possibly damage your lungs - not to mention cause a coughing fit of Richter scale proportions for the newly initiated.

If it's the nicotine you crave, cigars will supply it, although the nicotine content of properly fermented and aged tobacco is lower on average than cigarettes. All you really need to do is gently pull the smoke into your mouth and let your palate savor the flavors and aromas in the cigar's blend. So try to resist inhaling. You may find that you have a better appreciation for your cigars, and will enjoy them more as well.