Are cigars addictive or just a habit?
What is it about coffee that keeps us coming back for more? Is it truly the caffeine or is it something else…the aroma, the taste, the sense of gathering a cup of coffee brings.
I often wonder about that question, and the answer is "yes." You could ask the same question about coffee. If you have a cup of coffee every morning, it's probably more of a habit – something you do on a regular basis – than an addiction. But if you drink 10 cups of coffee a day, one could make the case for addiction. Are cigars addictive? Read on to find out.
Whether it's smoking cigars, playing online poker, or watching reality TV, just about anything can become addictive. What starts often as a hobby for some cigar smokers, may eventually become habitual, and beyond that, addictive. How do you define the three? Cigar smoking as a hobby would apply to a friend of mine who smokes only several cigars a month, though he might smoke more often if his wife wasn't so insistent he take it outside. He also does a lot of domestic and international travel, and there are very few places left in the world where one can enjoy the company of a good cigar and a libation; so that also keeps his smoking to a bare minimum, but he's fine with it. As Yoda would say, "A bona fide cigar hobbyist, he is."
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What about the habitual cigar smoker? According to an About.com article on the subject: "If you are a cigar enthusiast who routinely lights up more than a couple of cigars every day without even thinking about it, then cigars are a habit." Fair enough. Mostly, I smoke only a couple of cigars a day, sometimes three, and on rare occasions, four, but I generally think about what I want to smoke before I take out my cutter. So, I'm an habitual cigar smoker for the most part, but I'm also addicted to a certain extent. I've noticed that on days where I don't get to smoke a cigar, I tend to be a little edgy and irritable. If several days go by without a cigar, I eventually get used to it. That being said, I'm still thinking about when I'm going to have my next cigar. Sometimes I even plan which cigars I'm going to smoke the next day. So am I an habitual smoker or an addict? Probably somewhere in-between, but I lean more to the addiction side.
As for cigar smoking addicts, it's fair to say that someone who can't get through the day without smoking at least one cigar is addicted. The About.com article also states: "It cannot be determined whether cigars are a hobby, habit, or addiction based solely upon the number of cigars smoked." If that seems to complicate matters, don't be surprised; the line between habit and addiction is thinner than it appears.
Over the years I've met cigar smokers who smoke as many as 8 to 10 cigars a day. Now, I'm convinced they're addicts because I don't know how anyone can smoke that many cigars in a day without losing their ability to taste the difference between smokes. Usually, after three cigars, my palate is shot; plus, I tend to space them out over several hours. Some of these so-called "addicts" virtually chain-smoke their cigars, more likely because they're more concerned with having something to puff on than what cigars they're smoking. Being able to smoke 5 or 6 Padrón Aniversario 1964's or Liga Privada No.9's in a day – and there are those that do – may sound like heaven to a lot of cigar lovers, but I'd be surprised if they got the same kind of pleasure from the 6th cigar as they did from the first. The thing is, hard core addicts don't care. They just want their nicotine fix.
To be fair, keep in mind that just because a cigar smoker can handle smoking more than a few cigars during the day, it doesn't mean they don't appreciate the nuances of a fine cigar. If they didn't, they probably would've given up cigars well before it became a regular part of their lifestyle.
Suffice it to say, addiction tends to leave the door open for problems to enter, so choose your habits wisely. Fortunately, cigar smoking is one of those habits that helps relieve stress and bond friendships.
Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for CigarAdvisor.com since its debut in 2008. An avid cigar smoker for over 30 years, during the past 12 years he has worked on the marketing side of the premium cigar business as a Sr. Copywriter, blogger, and cigar reviewer. A graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, prior to his career in the cigar business, Gary worked in the music and video industry as a marketer and a publicist.Show all Gary Korb's Articles