Cigars: Man vs. Wife

Hayward Tenney“If your wife doesn’t like the aroma of your cigar, change your wife.” – Zino Davidoff

Ha – that’s rich.

I love cigars. My wife hates them. But I love her, and keeping her happy ensures (or at least enables) my own happiness.

Sound familiar?

I’ve realized that I am never going to convince her to tolerate the smell of cigars, let alone enjoy their aroma. Bear in mind that I come home from work at Famous every day smelling of cigars, even on days when I don’t smoke any. Clearly this is a recipe for tension.

If you find yourself feeling like a star-crossed cigar lover, fear not. Over 7 years of marriage, I’ve amassed a repertoire of maneuvers designed to minimize her exposure to cigar smoke.

In no particular order, I present to you my list of Pro Tips.

  • Stay away from open windows
  • If it’s necessary to smoke in the garage, ventilate early & often
  • Change your clothes outside, if possible
  • Skip the cologne: a 2-minute shower can work wonders, especially rinsing out your hair
  • Brush, floss, and mouthwash
  • Avoid falling asleep (or passing out) in your “cigar clothes”
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Drive with the windows down

Some of these are obvious, others less so. Whatever the case, these have significantly decreased DW’s “cigar commentary.” Maybe they will for you, too.

P.S. If your spouse/significant other enjoys cigars, I don’t want to hear from you. No, seriously, stop rubbing it in.

Hayward Tenney


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?).


  1. Well you are going to hear from me! My soon be wife will enjoy a cigar with me! I do consider myself one of the lucky ones in that regard. She used to smoke cigarettes, but stopped. She did that in part to me since I did not like them, so I got her on cigars instead. She might have one once a week with me, but it does make life easier. She will even sit at a cigar shop on a Saturday and have a cigar with me. She usually reads while I chat with the boys. It does throw some people off to see a women sitting in a cigar shop having a cigar.

  2. James Glenn says:

    “even on days when I don’t smoke any” ?????? If I worked at Famous, there wouldn’t be any of those days! Just Sayin’…

  3. JML says:

    Thanks for the tips! I’ve struggled with this since my girlfriend and I started dating two years ago. This will be much better than having to sneak away for a smoke shamelessly…I kid, but seriously. :-|

  4. Kenny says:

    I am 55 year old and have been married for over twenty-five years. I have been a cigar aficionado for a lot longer than I have been married. I do accede to my wife’s wishes about not smoking inside the house or in our personal cars. Before retiring from my career in law enforcement the majority of my cigar enjoyment was with co-workers at work. Now I am limited to my patio or front porch. Fortunately I live in South Florida and can do this pretty much year round. My wife does not necessarily approve of my “habit,” I nonetheless respect her wishes and she respects my enjoyment of fine cigars. I have raised my kids and worked hard over the years to provide for my family. Although I respect your tips, I don’t “hide” my consumption of premium cigars as if they were some illegal substance or weed.

  5. FA1SGL says:

    My beloved does not mind my cigars at all. We do not, however, smoke in either the house or the car. This a decision made jointly. I find sufficient places to enjoy a smoke without having to worry about lingering effects on drapes or auto.

  6. Messerjocke2000 says:

    ^These tips are worthwhile, even if my wife doesn´t mind me herfing in the living room. Lucky me.
    I think the main part is getting the smoke out as much as possible BEFORE it gets cold and seeps into the furniture.
    So yeah, ventilate plenty!
    Get rid of stubs and ashes.

    Fresh coffee grounds work wonders as well!

  7. Mel says:

    Mine used to not mind. Now she just hates everything…so it’s a win/win for me! :D

  8. David Whitaker says:

    I found a product called Gone Smoke (, usually only found in convenience stores. I actually got a sample at a convenience store show and wish I could order it from Famous. It works great on clothes and hair. My wife hates the fact that I smoke cigars but using Gone Smoke and breath mints has reduced the complaints. And, No, I don’t work for Gone Smoke.

  9. Lenny Waller says:

    Guess I’m really lucky. My girlfriend smokes Cigarettes. She lives on a Caffeine Nicotine diet. Ever since she met me 9 years ago. I have smoked cigars. It is good for both of us. She has gone to Cigar groups, & lounges, & stores with me.

  10. @David Whitaker…

    Gone Smoke is too expensive, and doesn’t work as well as advertised. We looked into stocking that product. Thanks for sharing though, glad it works for you.

  11. Dan says:

    I am one of the lucky ones. My fiancee buys more sticks for me than I do for myself and many times she buys better ones too. She has even taken to an occasional CAO flavored stick to join me for a smoke. We don’t smoke indoors, and only asks that I ‘clean up’ if we are going to be around people who don’t partake of the leaf. We enjoy a nice fire on the patio, with a bottle of wine and a couple nice smokes from time to time.

    I think I’ll keep her!!!!

  12. Bonsai Bob says:

    Schwepps Bitter Lemon after a round of golf and a cigar is perfect. But, even better is hearing from my wife of 34 years…..Are we going out for cigars?

    Three season porch in Vermont gets us through the winter.

  13. Dwain says:

    My dear, sweet wife made the statement that there is no such thing as a good cigar. Whoodathunkit, right? She also asked that, since I don’t inhale’ how do I get any pleasure/taste/enjoyment out of the cigar. I tried my best to explain, but I think it went right over her head. I told her that there was nothing better than a comfortable recliner, low lights, some easy, light jazz or light classical music, a snifter of a good 12-15 year old single malt, and a fine, hand-rolled cigar. This will make the absolute worst problems melt away. Her response…a “what-in-the-hell-are-you-talking-about?” look. Women…ya gotta love ‘em.

  14. james says:

    When we purchased our new home we had a “spare” bedroom upstairs that has been converted to my “man cave” in which I can smoke, drink and fart! I ventilate the room through the window and I also purchased a Rabbit Air air purifier for those cold days that I cannot open the window. My wife does not complain too much anymore….

  15. Lee Strocen says:

    “A woman is only a woman, but a good cigar is a Smoke.” Rudyard Kipling, Keep the cigar and ditch the woman!!! When the divorce happens the cigars will cost you less!!!

  16. zino says:

    As an example to others, and not that I care for moderation myself, it has always been my rule never to smoke when asleep and never to refrain when awake. – Samuel Clements’ 70th birthday speech

  17. zino says:

    “If your wife doesn’t like the aroma of your cigar, change your wife.” -Zino Davidoff

  18. zino says:

    A wisely chosen cigar to me, is like a weapon against certain of life’s torments, in some mysterious way, a little blue smoke chases them away.” -Zino Davidoff

  19. zino says:

    “I drink a great deal. I sleep a little, and I smoke cigar after cigar. That is why I am in two-hundred-percent form.” -Winston Churchill