Cigars 101

Cigar Sickness: How to Fix Nicotine Nausea


Updated August 2023

Nic sick. Cigar sickness. Cigar nausea. Cigar sweats. Nicotine poisoning…and so on. Cigar sickness is an affliction that goes by many names. And if you end up on the business end, the relaxation you were looking forward to from your premium will quickly turn into a stressful nightmare.

cigar advisor cigar nausea nic sick fix - man looking sick while smoking
This doesn’t have to be you. Check out our tips to avoid the nic sick!

In this article, we’re going to cover what causes cigar sickness, how you can prevent it from happening to you, and how to get rid of nic sick if you end up with it. First, let’s go over what nicotine nausea is and how it occurs.

What is Cigar Sickness?

Cigar sickness is an adverse reaction to too much nicotine in your bloodstream. Symptoms include nausea, lightheadedness, dizziness, sweating, and headache, among others.

What Causes Cigar Sickness?

‘Nicotine nausea’ comes from smoking too fast, smoking too much, or inhaling cigar smoke. Stronger cigar blends with higher nicotine content tend to bring it on faster than their mellower counterparts. Additionally, nic sick can occur from something as seemingly benign as smoking on an empty stomach.

How Long Does Nic Sick Last?

Depending on how much you’ve overdone it, nic sick will last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. Smoke a little too fast and it’ll likely last a shorter period. But if you’ve been chain smoking something bold all day, it’ll probably last longer and be harder to get rid of.

How To Prevent Cigar Sickness

We’ve been a broken record with the sentiment of ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.’ The best way to beat nicotine poisoning is to not get it in the first place. Here’s how to keep it at bay:

Make sure you’re pacing yourself between cigar puffs. Smoking too fast is the most common cause of nic sick. Drawing once every 30-60 seconds is fine, but depending on your level of tolerance, or the strength of the cigar, you might need to go slower. Like sipping on fine bourbon, cigars are meant to be enjoyed slowly over the course of an hour or two. There’s no rush; the only prize for racing to the finish line…is feeling like shit.

cigar advisor cigar nausea nic sick fix - man holding his head looking ill
Drawing once every 30-60 seconds will help prevent you from feeling like this.

Equally important, make sure you’re smoking with a full belly. The best times to enjoy cigars are after meals; not only because pregaming with some munchies helps to ward off nicotine sickness, but due to cigars and food making for delicious combos when paired together well.

Lastly, moderation is key. Cigars, like anything we love, are great on repeat. But the same way blowing through a six-pack will leave you topsy turvy, smoking too many cigars in a short period of time might as well be Russian roulette. The whoa bellies are not a matter of if, but when. Especially if they’re strong. Know your limits. If you’re new to cigars, smoking a 5-pack of beefy blends is going to end poorly for you. Keep it mellow at first, with the harder stuff in moderation. You’ll get there, just don’t be that guy who gets nausea while trying to keep up with the Joneses…or you won’t be keeping anything down.

The Nic Sick Fix

First and foremost. Stop. Smoking. The. Cigar. You’ve had too much already, and ‘toughing it out’ will just make things worse. Set your stogie down in the ash tray and let it go. There’s always tomorrow.

While the cigar sweats might have you reaching for a bucket, there’s a secret weapon you should be reaching for instead—our favorite of the nicotine sickness home remedies! What is this magical elixir?

A sugar packet.

cigar advisor cigar nausea nic sick fix - sugar packets on a diner table
Yep. Those sweet lil freebies at the coffee shop just saved the day!

Snake oil, you say? Try it. Pour one on your tongue, swirl it around your mouth to dissolve it and absorb the glucose, and chase it with water.

Of course, most of us aren’t carrying sugar packets around in our pockets. Might help next time, but if you’re not in reach of one, drink some juice or grab a candy bar; get a little sweetness in you.

If you suffer from diabetes, or are otherwise unable to go with sweets, there are other methods to help manage the ill feelings of cigar nausea sans sugar. Go outside and get some fresh air. Eat something to fill your stomach. Unless you’ve really gone on a cigar bender, your symptoms will probably clear up inside of an hour. And finally, consider it as a nudge to your brain that it’s better off being your last cigar of the day.

Nicotine Nausea Wrap-Up

The long and short of smoking cigars is—sooner or later, one of these nicotine hangovers is going to rear its ugly head, even if you do your damnedest to play it safe. The ill feeling will pass. Go forth, armed with new remedies to beat it quick, and prevent it from happening in most situations.

Have a cigar sickness horror story of your own, or a tip that helped you get over it? Let us know in the comments below!