Cigars 101

Inhaling cigars: right, wrong, good, or bad?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Inhaling cigars do you or don’t you?

People inhale cigarettes, so why not cigars? When it comes to inhaling cigars, there’s no specific rule, and the fact is, a number of cigar smokers do inhale as well as retrohale. In the latter case, you puff on your cigar and blow the smoke out your nose. In some cases, retrohaling results in a very peppery, nose-bending, eye-opening experience. On the other hand, it can help you discover flavors that you may not taste by simply puffing and expelling the smoke. As for inhaling cigar smoke, that’s another story.

Inhaling Cigars
I don’t know when it became official that you’re not supposed to inhale cigars. There’s certainly no law preventing you from doing so. It’s most likely one of those things that arose from common sense.

 

The reason cigarettes are easy to inhale is that the chemical additives in cigarettes lower the temperature of the smoke, allowing you to inhale without too much discomfort. Premium handmade cigars are an all natural tobacco product and generally a lot bigger than your average ciggy. Consequently, even in mild cigars, the smoke tends to be hotter, thicker, and if inhaled quickly, can possibly damage your lungs. For the new cigar smoker, inhaling can provoke a coughing fit of Richter scale proportions.

Moreover, cigarette smokers who have either switched to cigars or smoke both have a natural tendency to inhale. A fellow I met many years ago would, in the course of a day, smoke a pack of Marlboro Red and inhale several full-bodied cigars. It just didn’t bother him. He must’ve had lungs of steel, an incredibly high tolerance to nicotine, or had no fear of ever getting lung cancer. One of the other interesting facts about tobacco is that cigarette smoke tends to absorb better in the lungs than the mouth because it is more acidic, whereas cigar and pipe smoke absorbs better through the membranes in the mouth because it is more alkaline.

Traditionally speaking, inhaling is not recommended or necessary for enjoying premium cigars. If you think inhaling a cigar will provide the nicotine you crave, tobacco facts show that cigars, particularly full-bodied cigars which have more ligero tobacco, will supply plenty of it without inhaling. Other facts about tobacco show that the nicotine content of well-fermented and aged cigar tobacco is much lower on average than cigarettes. The longer the tobaccos age, the more nicotine is dissipated, which is another reason cigar smoke is better absorbed by the palate.

Retrohaling
Retrohaling* is the process of expelling smoke so that it passes through the nasal cavity and past the olfactory receptors on its way out of your body. To call it “exhaling” or “blowing” smoke out through the nose is misleading because cigarette smokers also exhale smoke through the nose.

Though the hard-core inhalers reading this post may disagree, if you want to fully enjoy a good cigar, gently pull the smoke into your mouth, let your palate pick-up the nuances of flavor, and leisurely blow the smoke out of your mouth and/or nose (see retrohaling above). If you need an extra shot of nicotine try retrohaling more often.

Let’s not forget that one of the precepts of smoking cigars is to relax and de-stress as you savor the flavors and aromas of your cigar. So, try to resist inhaling. Better yet, don’t inhale at all. You may find that you have a better appreciation for your cigars, and will enjoy them more as well.

 

44 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Bradley Taylor
7 years ago

Good article.

Max Jackson
7 years ago

Outstanding

Phil Di Tommaso
7 years ago

Well Done!

Darryl Butler
7 years ago

Exactly what I have been teaching the new Comer, you should post this article twice a month.

Jorge Arturo Mejia
7 years ago

Learned the hard way.

Richard Cenci
7 years ago

I love my cigars but I don’t inhale and I smoke outdoors weather permitting.

Aaron Jake
6 years ago

I’ve tried both but I prefer to inhale personally…

Yaz Katia Fernandez
6 years ago

what happens if i want to inhale a cigar?

Tbone
3 years ago

Then ur gay

wojciech
2 years ago
Reply to  Tbone

lol

Dick slinger
2 years ago
Reply to  Tbone

Eat a dick

its factually true
1 year ago
Reply to  Dick slinger

its factually true

Картмазова Эльмира
6 years ago

Friends recommend trying an excellent tool with which you can quickly quit.
This tool helped me a lot, I recommend to read more:
http://bit.ly/sm000kes

Juan Guerrero
1 year ago

Sell your anti-smoking crap elsewhere!

Cynthia M. Davis
6 years ago

I enjoy a premium cigar on special occasions. I used to enjoy one every day. I never inhaled and always appreciated the different ones for their individual flavors. You don’t have to inhale to enjoy a cigar.

Trudy Myers
5 years ago

I recently started smoking black and milds-just little beginner cigars whats a next second step?

bill buttlicker
3 years ago
Reply to  Trudy Myers

weed

Dickslinger
2 years ago

Hey bill you licking much ass these days

Orville tootenbacher
2 years ago

Lol I’m watching the office while reading this artical

rush limbaugh
2 years ago
Reply to  Trudy Myers

cancer

Megan Flores
5 years ago

For the past few years I have had difficulty working out in yard, then in 2015 it got harder and harder to breathe. After many tests, it was a CT scan that showed COPD, emphysema and scarring in my lungs. I quit smoking 8 years ago but the damage has been done. I got to a point I couldn’t catch my breath and was coughing so hard I thought the top of my head would blow off, nothing was really working to help my condition. Finally i started on COPD herbal formula i purchased from NewLife Herbal Clinic, i read alot of positive reviews from other patients who used the COPD herbal treatment. I used the herbal remedy for 7 weeks, its effects on COPD is amazing, all my symptoms gradually faded away, i breath very more freely now! (Visit www. newlifeherbalclinic. com ) I recommend this COPD herbal formula for all COPD/Emphysema sufferers

Megan Flores
New Jersey, USA.

Kenneth Kidd
5 years ago

I smoked a cigar for the first time. Now my chest is hurting really bad. Should this concern me? Should I see a doctor?

Grub
3 years ago
Reply to  Kenneth Kidd

It’s been two years, are you still alive o try the second?

Mike Hunting
5 years ago

ass

Alex Tenn
5 years ago

Great article Gary.You kept it real.You answered a few of the questions I had.From those who find reward with a nice cigar.Thx

Paul Hubans
5 years ago

I really enjoyed smoking cigarettes but could never get into cigars. I’ve had the cheap ones people use to roll blunts, and the expensive premium ones people smoke to celebrate marriage, etc. None of them ever really did it for me.

Steve Nylander
4 years ago

You have an asterick that there is no reference for, Gary Korb.
I’ve almost have 30 years of cigars only as well. I smoke without inhaling, but blow it out my nose. You’re missing out if you don’t. Never used the term referenced here.

Anthea Yasser
4 years ago

I don’t know why people say you shouldn’t inhale. It doesn’t take long to get used to inhaling cigar smoke. I have inhaled cigars since I was 14 years old – it’s the most amazing feeling ever. Don’t forget, it’s only the smoke hitting the back of your throat which gives you a cough reflex – you can hold the smoke in your lungs all day without any desire to cough. I’d bet it will take most people less than 10 puffs to learn to inhale a full-bodied cigar – take a deep draw, then inhale quickly – resisting the urge to cough and then inhale lots of fresh air after. From there, you’ll get the most amazing feeling and you won’t have any urge to cough at all – you can literally hold the smoke in your lungs for as long as you want. Then exhale slowly – again, you’ll have no urge to cough at all.

Common Sense
3 years ago
Reply to  Anthea Yasser

What about :

Running
Exercising
Weight Lifting
Health
Cancer
COPD
Going up / Down stairs

Jim McClure
3 years ago
Reply to  Anthea Yasser

Until you get lung cancr…

Dick slinger
2 years ago
Reply to  Anthea Yasser

Anthea, what about when that cock hits the back of your throat, do you want to cough then or do you just let it slide on down??

Angela Waterford
3 years ago

I think I might buy a tobacco supply for cigars if they can release a very peppery eye-opening experience for me. Thanks for adding that cigarettes are easy to handle so I might decide to try something new. Since cigar and pipe smoke absorbs better, I might enjoy the experience so I’m curious to try it out.

Dick slinger
2 years ago

Hey Angela,
I have something you can smoke. Lol. And its a real eye opener, unless you go down wrong and it pokes you in the eye, then its not so much of an eye opener. More of an eye closer. Any how, just be carefully going down and make sure you go all the way down so you can get that full flaver when it goes off, and like Miss Olson said its good to the last dropp.. So hope you enjoy. My pleasher…..

Grub
3 years ago

I only inhale the smoke so I can quickly blow it out my bum hole.

felix lina
3 years ago

I am not sure of the cause of COPD emphysema in my case. I smoked pack a day for 12 or 13 years, but quit 40 years ago. I have been an outdoor person all my adult life. Coughing started last summer producing thick mucus, greenish tint to clear. I tried prednisone and antibiotics, but no change. X-rays are negative, heart lungs and blood and serum chemistries all are normal. I have lung calcification from childhood bout with histoplasmosis. I am 75 years old and retired.My current doctor directed me to totalcureherbsfoundation .c om which I purchase the COPD herbal remedies from them ,they are located in Johannesburg, the herbal treatment has effectively reduce all my symptoms totally, am waiting to complete the 15 weeks usage because they guaranteed me total cure.

Evan
3 years ago

I been inhaling for years I smoke swisher sweets and backwoods and black n mild here and there I’ll give premium cigars a try but I recommend the. 3 I said for a starter cigar

Bruno
3 years ago

Or smoke bud…

20 of the Best Hobbies for Guys – Modded
2 years ago

[…] You don’t even have to inhale if you’re concerned about your lung capacity. You can puff on a stogie to enjoy the […]

Chris Garcia
2 years ago

I inhaled out of habit omg never again

Raritan Sailor
1 year ago

What utter BS… I’ve been smoking cigars for 45 years, and have always inhaled them!
I think the whole, “Please don’t inhale” crud is to get more folks to jump on the cigar
wagon, cuz if they did inhale, they would turn green & die!
Especially since all the uber-expensive, highly rated cigars, are SO harsh, they would
take the paint off of a barn, if they are puffed, or inhaled!
It’s not a dick-slapping society, where bucks compete to see how Potent a gar they can
stand to puff on, much like beer has become how much bitter-hops can I stand, before
my anus implodes me!

It’s supposed to be enjoyment! The salesmen know if you inhale, and enjoy it, 90% of you
will run away!!

Traffer
1 year ago

I had to quit smoking cigars because I got to inhaling them way too deeply. Burned my lungs.

Anti-Normie
7 months ago

Imagine being afraid of lung cancer, but writing an article about cigars lol

Why is it worse to smoke unfiltered cigarettes? – AnswerParadise.net
6 months ago
Gary Korb

Gary Korb

Executive Editor

Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for CigarAdvisor.com since its debut in 2008. An avid cigar smoker for over 30 years, he has worked on the marketing side of the premium cigar business as a Sr. Copywriter, blogger, and Executive Editor of Cigar Advisor. 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
cigar advisor #nowsmoking cigar review toscano master aged serie 1 - cover

#NowSmoking: Toscano Master Aged Serie 1

Reading Time: 5 minutes If you’ve ever been curious about those little “Italian style” cigars, this review of the Toscano Master Aged Serie 1 will interest you. Made in Italy with mostly American tobaccos, the secret is in the aging. Watch now and get the full story.

Read More
cigar advisor fan mail cigar questions answered part 49 - cover

Fan Mail: Your Burning Cigar Questions Get Answered (Part 49)

Reading Time: 2 minutes Were V-cutters around in Churchill’s time? What makes a cigar…good? We answer these questions and more in our latest edition of Cigar Advisor Fan Mail. Tune in to see our video responses!

Read More
cigar advisor best perfecto cigars - cover

2022 CA Report: Best Perfecto Cigars

Reading Time: 8 minutes Are Perfectos making a comeback? Maybe so. This new report spotlights 10 of the best Perfecto cigars and covers a variety of wrappers, flavor profiles, and strengths. Whether you already smoke Perfectos or are just simply curious about them, you came to the right page.

Read More
how to make an old fashioned cocktail cigar pairing CACover

How to Make an Old Fashioned Cocktail + Cigar Pairing Recommendation

Looking to learn how to make an Old Fashioned cocktail? Here’s the recipe – and we’ve included a special cigar pairing that will really make this legendary drink go down as smooth as ever. It’s cocktail royalty, and you can learn how it’s done with these simple instructions.
Read More