Cigars and the Common Cold

Grizzley TenneyKnow what sucks about winter? It’s not the cold weather, shoveling, driving in the snow, growing a beard, or wearing flannel. In fact, in many ways, I rather enjoy these manly pursuits.

No, what REALLY creases me is getting sick.

Folks huddle inside during cold weather, thereby increasing the transmission any number of bacterial and/or viral infections. For me, this risk is compounded by my two little Petri dishes, aged 3-years and 9-months, who are currently in daycare. (Aside: I swear we go through a sleeve of tissues every other week.)

My usually-impenetrable immune system recently collapsed under all that pressure, causing me to suffer a cold, sinus infection, and upper respiratory infection back-to-back. During this 2 1/2 week period, I didn’t smoke a single cigar.

It really wasn’t difficult – in that condition, a cigar was the last thing on my mind. But I know some guys who will smoke right through being sick.

I’m no doctor, but I’m going to make an educated guess that smoking cigars while sick is not the best idea. You can’t taste or smell the cigar anyway, so where’s the enjoyment? I would sooner stick to Neti Pot, steamy showers, Hot Toddies and plenty of fluids and rest, and save my cigars for when I’ll actually enjoy them.

For that matter, I recommend that all cigar smokers check out Neti Pot. Smoking cigars can dry out and irritate your sinuses. I’ve found that this simple method of sinus irrigation provides immense relief, especially in winter.

Do you take a cigar hiatus when you’re sick? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments below.

Hayward Tenney

Author:

When he's not busy writing, editing, smoking cigars, or raising his many, many children, Hayward "It's Lou, not Hayward" Tenney spends his days combating confusion about his real name (it's Hayward, but please - call him "Lou") and mourning the matrimonially-induced loss of his moustache (what's he gonna do with all that moustache wax he made?).

Comments

  1. I always stop smoking cigars when I get sick. You are right, if you can taste or smell them, whats the point. We tell ourselves that we smoke cigars for the flavors and even bash cigars that lack flavor, so why smoke when we cannot taste? A break now and then is good too. When you have that first one after being sick, it sure does taste that much better.

  2. Mike says:

    It’s a good idea to refrain from cigars when one gets a cold. But I do recommend using zinc from Zicam or better yet, Airborne. It’s a combination of zinc and other herbs that help to boost your immune system and shorten a cold. I had a bad cold in the fall of ’09, but the Airborne really knocked it out.

  3. Hogman21 says:

    I agree with you on this the last thing when I’m sick that I’m thinking about is a cigar but by the end of my sickness it’s the first thing I’m thinking about. Great write up. Thanks

  4. Elgarfio says:

    You’re right, but with one possible exception. If you have a few cigars that you don’t like that much, then smoking them when you have a cold is a good time to get rid of them. This is especially true if you like sipping some Scotch for medicinal purposes, and everyone knows about Scotch and cigars.

  5. The Neti Pot is EXCELLENT. The same company makes another devices, called Sinus Rinse. It’s even better – especially when used twice daily.

    Also, look into the SInusBuster sprays. They actually contain pepper “juice”. They sting a little, but they really open the sinuses. Also stops headaches, even migraines.

    You are absolutely correct when it comes to smoking while the head is stuffed. It is a waste of time, and money, especially when the sticks are really good ones.

  6. Johnny Cigar says:

    Used to get sinus infections every winter until my wife got me a neti. Works great – saved me multiple rounds of antibiotics – just wait a while to smoke after use ’cause it’ll taste funny. If really sick I generally abstain from smoking but after several days I break down and go for a cheapie stick. My biggest winter issue now is the frigid outdoor temps. Wondering if there is a small, cheap, portable heater available for use while puffing in the stairwell.

  7. James E Gaydos says:

    My recommendation to you is to get rid of the flannel first, and go outside without a coat about 4 or 5 times a day, for a 5 to 10 minute time period. I’ve been doing this for about 7 years, and have not had a cold. I got other health issues, but no colds. And I also have grandchildren.
    Going out in the cold will help to kill of those bad bugs that are hanging on to you, they come from those you work and live with. Get Cold brother.

  8. Jeremy B says:

    I just found your post after a Google search trying to get a good answer on this subject. I have bee sick for about a week and a half, but have really been jonesin for a cigar the past few days. I thought about lighting up a hemming way short story thinking a little smoke like that may be ok with my cold. sounds like I better just see if I can hold off until I get better.

    I am not at all worried about wasting a smoke, just worried about pro-longing my cold, which would mean even longer until I could really enjoy a stogie.

    Hoping for a full recovery soon, thanks for the great post.

  9. Mark W. says:

    If you want to clear out your sinuses pretty quickly, try chewing 2 Altoids breath mints. It won’t cure the cold but you will be able to enjoy your smoke a little better.

  10. Becky says:

    Thanks for the post! I enjoyed it. I always like seeing the best remedies and advice out there for the cold and flu. I also like seeing how people handle sickness. I’m glad I stumbled on your blog! I stumbled on this blog while I was searching too: http://burisonthecouch.wordpress.com/2011/02/05/you-make-me-sick/

    I think they have an enjoyable take on colds and being sick. Thanks for your post!