Everything about cigar smoking is enjoyable. It starts with the texture of its wrapper, or capa, to the rich aroma of Cuban coffee and cocoa. You nestle the stick between your thumb and index finger and bring it to your lips. You draw in tendrils of smoke and savor the taste. It’s earthy, roasted, and woody. As you blow smoke from your mouth, a welcome feeling of tranquility passes over you.
For decades, there has been a major debate surrounding cigars. Are they detrimental or beneficial to your health? Some accuse cigars of being as dangerous as their ever-popular cousin, the cigarette. Yet, there has been a steady rise in evidence to the contrary. Many are coming forward to say that smoking cigars help relieve stress and anxiety.
This information has sparked interest in smoking cigars among a newer following. No longer is puffing on a good stogie reserved for the older gentlemen of a society long-passed. Women and Millennials are also joining in. For many, their hope is that smoking cigars will help them to blow away their stress.
Smoking Cigars Relieves Stress
So, how exactly can smoking a cigar help relieve stress and ease tension? Somebody once described the near-magical qualities of a cigar when they said:
“…cigar smoking is a soothing stress reliever and a valuable part of the sanctity of one’s life. The simple act of cutting and lighting becomes an anchor, and that first whiff of toasted tobacco sends us to a place of sheer nirvana that no pharmaceutical company could ever concoct. And here, I rest my case. Cigar smoking is good for you.” ~Anonymous, www.cigar.com
The experience of smoking a tantalizing stogie is sensual and pleasurable. A few great health benefits accompany it as well.
The nicotine in tobacco acts as a stimulant and a sedative. That’s why you feel calm and relaxed when smoking cigars. As a result, you can really control your mood with a few puffs. The more nicotine you inhale, the more sedated you become. Remember to practice moderation as you smoke your cigar. You’ll achieve the perfect amount of relaxation while remaining aware of your surroundings.
Lowers Blood Pressure
Smoking cigars also have many meditative qualities. Cigar aficionados attest that smoking has a positive effect on their blood pressure. Puffing and blowing create a trance-like state when you smoke. Tobacco also helps to settle your mind and quiet your thoughts. Since meditation lowers blood pressure, allow a cigar to place you in that same mindset. You’ll likely gain the same results.
Increases Dopamine Levels
Nicotine affects the dopamine levels in our bodies. Dopamine is a chemical that’s involved with your body’s pleasure center. It leaves you feeling happy and motivated. This automatic response is one reason why nicotine has very addictive properties. It makes perfect sense that developing a love for cigars can help relieve stress and make you happier.
Flavor Plays a Role
It’s also worth mentioning that, if relaxation is your ultimate goal, flavored cigars are the way to go. Flavors like vanilla can cause feelings of calm and tranquility. Also, as cigars age, their tobacco flavor mellows. They develop a smoother, creamier taste. This makes for a pleasant, relaxing experience for your senses. It also calms your stress levels.
Popularity Among Young Adults
A 2008 study suggests young people believe smoking makes a great “coping mechanism”. This attributes to the growing popularity of cigar lifestyle magazines, like Cigar Aficionado. One article, “On Doctor’s Orders” favors smoking to ease stress and anxiety.
“As director of a center for the diagnosis and treatment of stress-related disorders, I am aware of the benefits of various methods of relaxation from bio-feedback to yoga. Whereas all have their benefits, smoking a cigar, for me, has advantages no other method has … As a psychiatrist, I can’t bring myself to discourage cigar smokers. I have given cigars to patients on occasion and have received my share of some great cigars in return … It is my professional opinion that cigar smoking is beneficial to one’s mental health.” ~ Dr. Charles Carluccio
A Stogie a Day to Keep the Doctor Away
Most people hesitate to state smoking cigars are 100% effective in relieving stress. Remember that smoking is never a cure for mental health issues such as depression or anxiety. Yet, there’s no denying the overwhelming sense of peace that comes over you as you puff on that delicious San Cristobal. The rich flavor of roasted nuts, coffee, and nutmeg lingers on your tongue. Its earthy-smelling smoke curls and twists around your head. Images of a simpler time spring to mind. Your worries fade into the background as you convalesce in the deep, nutty aroma.
Ahh. This is what it’s all about. This is the cigar lifestyle at its finest.
The following references were used:
- “Adolescents’ Perceptions of Smoking and Stress Reduction,” Sage Journals 36.4 (2009).
- “On Doctor’s Orders,” published in Cigar Aficionado.
- “Cigar,” Wikipedia.
- “Cigars Are Good For You,” Cigars.com.
- “Dopamine.” Wikipedia.
- “Learning Your ABCs: Cigars 101, Part II,” Cigar Aficionado.
- “The positive effects of nicotine” (2014).
- “Meditation Effective in Reducing Blood Pressure,” Kent State University.
- “The Stress-Relieving Benefits of Cigar Smoking Outweigh Potential Health Risks,” Vintage Chic’ Cigar LLC.