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Cigar Smoking: The Art of Inhaling Cigar Smoke, Safer Techniques, and Debunking Myths About Inhaling Cigars Compared to Cigarette Smoking

why you don't inhale cigars

If you’re new to cigars, you might be wondering why you don’t inhale cigar smoke like cigarette smoke. The practice of not inhaling cigars can be confusing for those transitioning from cigarettes or for those who have never smoked before. In this article, we’ll explore the reasons why you don’t inhale cigars, the difference between cigar and cigarette smoking, and how to properly enjoy a premium cigar.

Cigars vs. Cigarettes: Key Differences

There are several key factors that differentiate cigars from cigarettes. Here are a few:

Cigar Composition vs. Cigarette Composition

Cigars are made from whole, fermented tobacco leaves, which give them a more natural and robust flavor compared to cigarettes. Cigarettes, on the other hand, contain finely cut tobacco mixed with chemicals that provide a different smoking experience. This distinction in composition impacts how the tobacco product is smoked.

Cigar Smoking Technique vs. Cigarette Smoking Technique

Cigar smoking focuses on savoring the flavors and aromas of the premium tobacco, while cigarette smoking is primarily about satisfying a nicotine craving. Inhaling cigarette smoke allows the nicotine to be rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream, whereas cigar smokers draw the smoke into their mouths without inhaling, concentrating on the palate experience.

Reasons Not to Inhale For Cigar Smokers

There are several reasons you would not want to inhale cigar smoke. Here are a few of the top ones:

Cigar Smoke is Harsher than Cigarette Smoke

One significant reason not to inhale cigars is that cigar smoke is thicker and more potent than cigarette smoke. Inhaling this harsher smoke can cause throat irritation and coughing, making the smoking experience unpleasant.

Higher Nicotine Content in Cigars

Cigars have a higher nicotine content compared to cigarettes. Inhaling cigar smoke increases the risk of nicotine overdose, which can lead to symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, and headaches. By not inhaling, you can still enjoy the premium cigar’s flavor without overwhelming your system with nicotine.

Health Risks of Inhaling Cigar Smoke

Inhaling cigar smoke also increases the health risks associated with smoking, such as lung problems, heart disease, and cancer. Not inhaling cigar smoke can minimize these risks while still allowing you to appreciate the craftsmanship and quality of the cigar.

How to Properly Smoke a Cigar without Inhaling

To fully appreciate the flavors and nuances of a premium cigar, draw the smoke into your mouth without inhaling. Hold it for a few moments, allowing your palate to absorb the flavors, and then gently exhale the smoke. By avoiding inhaling, you can experience the true essence of the cigar without the associated risks.

Retro haling: A Flavor-Enhancing Alternative

Retro-haling is a technique that allows cigar smokers to enjoy the flavors and aromas more intensely without inhaling the smoke into their lungs. To retro-hale, simply draw the smoke into your mouth, exhale halfway through your mouth, and then push the remaining smoke out through your nose. This process engages your olfactory senses, providing a heightened experience of the cigar’s flavors.

Safer than Cigarette Smoking but Not Risk-Free

While not inhaling cigar smoke is generally considered safer than cigarette smoking, it’s essential to remember that smoking cigars still poses health risks. Regular cigar smoking increases the risk of coronary artery disease, esophagus and larynx cancer, and other health issues. The deeper you inhale, the greater the risks. By not inhaling cigar smoke, you can reduce these risks while still enjoying the experience.

In summary, you don’t inhale cigars because the focus of cigar smoking is to enjoy the flavors and aromas without the need for a nicotine rush. Inhaling cigar smoke can lead to discomfort, nicotine overdose, and increased health risks. By understanding the differences between cigar and cigarette smoking, you can better appreciate the art of smoking a premium cigar without inhaling.


Are cigars supposed to be inhaled like cigarettes?

No, cigars are not meant to be inhaled like cigarettes. The primary goal of cigar smoking is to savor the flavors and aromas of the tobacco, which can be achieved without inhaling the smoke.

What’s the difference between pulling cigar smoke into your mouth and inhaling it?

Pulling cigar smoke into your mouth involves drawing the smoke through your mouth first and letting it linger on your palate before exhaling. Inhaling, on the other hand, means taking the smoke directly into your lungs. Inhaling cigar smoke can lead to discomfort and increased health risks.

Is it possible to accidentally inhale cigar smoke?

Yes, even if you don’t intentionally inhale cigar smoke, you might accidentally do so, especially if you’ve smoked cigarettes before. However, by focusing on drawing the smoke into your mouth and exhaling without inhaling, you can minimize accidental inhalation.

Do cigars contain nicotine like cigarettes?

Yes, cigars contain nicotine, but the amount of nicotine in a cigar is generally higher than in a cigarette. Inhaling cigar smoke increases the risk of nicotine overdose, which is why it’s not recommended to inhale cigars.

Can I still enjoy a cigar’s flavor and aroma without inhaling?

Absolutely! By drawing the smoke into your mouth and allowing it to roll over your taste buds, you can fully experience the complex flavors and aromas of a premium cigar without inhaling the smoke.