Cigars 101

Exploding Cigar Theory: why some cigar wrappers split on you

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“I feel like I’m smoking an exploding cigar.”

That’s what happens when your cigar wrapper cracks. Ever wonder why? Well, when the soup heats up the steam has nowhere to go but through the seams in the wrapper leaf, which, in turn, causes it to crack or split.

Another cause of wrapper splitting is drawing too often and/or too hard on your cigars. By doing so, you create more juices in the pipe and get the same results. A symptom related to this is a poor draw, which will cause you to draw harder on the cigar. In these cases, try using a cigar poker in the head and foot to loosen up the cause. If you’re smoking a figurado (a tapered or pointed head cigar), it may help to shave a little more off the head.

Suffice it to say, by keeping your humidor at an average of 68% RH in a range of 65% – 70%, you can help keep the moisture level in your cigars at bay and avoid smoking an exploding cigar.

~ G.K.

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Terry Vasseur
6 years ago

I had a few splitters that the paper ring was the only thing holding them together. I plugged the crack with my finger to stop the air leak. Later I covered the crack with scotch tape. Humidity in LA has gone Florida lately.

What’s even more agonizing is some cigars recently purchased are going sour or bitter. Alec Bradly is a fine cigar maker but their Tempus Madura’s have gone unsmokable. And that’s only one example. Quality in general doesn’t seem as high as it was 5, 10, 20 years ago.

Steve Nylander
3 years ago

Do you mean to keep excessive moisture levels ‘at bay’? Do dry cigars wrappers crack more than over humidified or vice versa?

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Gary Korb

Gary Korb

Executive Editor

Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for 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.

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