The cigar industry has evolved over the past few hundred years. Cigars were plentiful and relatively inexpensive for much of their history. Smoking didn’t carry the same social stigma. Most men enjoyed at least an occasional cigar. However, men like Mark Twain and Sigmund Freud enjoyed smoking habits that included puffing on 10 to 20 cigars daily.
These days well under five percent of the population regularly smokes premium cigars. It is considered a luxury item, but the wide range of brands and price ranges attracts smokers from all walks of life whose smoking habits are as diverse as the types of cigars available.
How many cigars should you smoke? The short answer is as many as you’d like. That may not be realistic or even desirable. The number of cigars someone smokes daily, monthly, or yearly will vary. Cost, size, strength, and time all factor into how much someone smokes.
Smoking Habit Factors
Smoking habits that include multiple cigars a day can be costly. Depending on the brand of cigars, you can spend a good deal of money if your smoking habit progresses to one or more cigars a day. However, if smoking a Davidoff or a Padron 1926 every day is not in your budget, there’s good news. Plenty of brands offer high-quality cigars that are inexpensive.
Cigar Strength & Size
Cigar blends have gotten stronger over the years. But, again, this all depends on the individual smoker. The typical enthusiast knows their limits. But on the other hand, smoking too much, especially fuller-bodied cigars, can lead to nausea and cigar hangovers.
Cigar size is another reason some guys can’t squeeze in a cigar during the day.
Churchills, Toros, and cigars with bigger ring gauges can take an hour or longer to smoke. Some guys are wedded to a particular cigar size, but many smokers will enjoy a “dog walker” (a smaller smoke) now and then.
Time and Place
Smoking the right way takes time. Not having the time is probably the most common reason guys don’t smoke as much as they would like. Purists smoke cigars to relieve stress, think, and relax. There’s no sense in rushing the ritual. If a guy doesn’t have the time to smoke the right way, he might not smoke.
The world has not been kind to smokers in recent years. Unless you’ve built a smoking room and work from home, finding a place to squeeze in a cigar is challenging. If you live in a cold weather environment, it’s even more difficult. Belonging to a lounge helps.
Smoking Habits by Smoker Types
Cigar smoking is not a contest. Smoking frequency depends on the individual. So there’s no need to compare your habits to others, but here’s a look at a few different types of smokers.
The High-Volume Smoker
It’s tough to find time for one cigar daily, let alone multiple. However, there are plenty of cigar lovers who smoke all day long.
A smoking habit of ten cigars daily might sound like a lot, but plenty of people have the time, money, and endurance to smoke one after another. Shorter cigars with small ring gauges, like Robustos and coronas, are more manageable for the high-volume smoker. Even the most experienced smoker probably can’t smoke a dozen of the kind of full-bodied cigars made today. They’re more than likely smoking smaller mild-bodied cigars.
Guys that smoke larger cigars might need more time, but the high-volume smoker makes the time for a cigar or two every day. It’s a mid-morning or lunch-hour smoke followed by, perhaps the best of all, the after-dinner cigar.
The Slow Burn Aficionado
A premium cigar — especially one that costs a good buck — is meant to be savored. Most smokers prefer not to rush the experience, but aficionados are perhaps the most attentive. Aficionados have sensitive palates. A smoking habit of few cigars a week is all it takes. They read the ratings and the year’s best lists a little more closely than the average smoker. Then, over a few weeks or months, they may taste a variety of cigars but only smoke a few.
Seasonal Smoking Habits
Ask any cigar shop owner, and they’ll tell you some of their customers disappear in November. It probably only pertains to cold weather regions, but plenty of cigar enthusiasts only smoke on the golf course and during the warmer months. They are tried-and-true smokers but their smoking habits include associating cigars with the outdoors. So they hibernate in winter and come back when the weather turns.
Weekend Smoking Habits
Chalk it up to not having enough hours in the day or simply not having a place to smoke during the work week, but it’s common for some guys to only smoke on the weekend. But, of course, a midweek stick for a special occasion is never out of the question.
Victory and Occasional Smoking Habits
Even the uninitiated will indulge in a fine cigar once or twice a year. For many people, smoking is social, and there’s no better reason to smoke than a celebration. So you’ll find plenty of occasional smokers at Super Bowl parties, graduations, and weddings. While not true brothers of the leaf, some eventually take to the hobby. You’ve got to start somewhere.
Chewers might be a dying breed, but we would be remiss if we didn’t at least mention them. Newbies and those unfamiliar with cigars might be unaware that some smoking habits include never lighting cigars. Since most of a cigar’s flavor comes from the outer leaf, you need only touch it to taste the tobacco. Whether due to health concerns or a pure appreciation of flavor, chewers gnaw a few cigars throughout the day.
The Upshot on Smoking Habits
In the end, the frequency smoking habits is subjective. How much to smoke is up to you. Do what makes you comfortable.
If you’re a newbie, take it slow. Don’t attempt to smoke multiple cigars in a day until you know how your body will react. If you decide to smoke more than one cigar a day, be sure to start with a milder blend. Cleanse your palate between cigars. Don’t smoke on an empty stomach, and don’t smoke too fast. Rushing a fine cigar can lead to nausea or ruin the relaxing experience of a good blend.
Photo Credit: Cigar Life Guy