Image by, Luzzie Normand with Neptune Cigars Inc.
What’s all the fluff, buzz, and coolness about smoking a “Cigar”? Can you get cancer from smoking cigars? What’s inside of a cigar, and what is it made of, is it the same as a “blunt”? As a known and established cigar smoker, you may have been asked many of these questions, a time or two. I know that I am, always, and all the time. Therefore, I wanted to compose an article that would answer many of these questions, in general. Especially, for the non-smokers, curious and interested partakers, and the experienced smoker. This article will highlight the cigar makeup starting with the cap, the cigar ingredients, which consists of the wrapper, filler, and binder. After you read this article, you will be able to articulate about any health risk associated from cigar smoking, what’s the cigar hype (why are cigars so cool), ability to compare and contrast the difference between cigars and cigarettes, and demolish any related myths that classified a cigar as a “blunt.”
The Cap: The cap of the cigar is the finishing touches to the completion of a cigar, once it’s rolled. The cap is put onto the body of the cigar to give it a clean and finish look. Just as a ball cap will for a gentleman after his fresh haircut, it evens out the full look.
What is a cigar made of: A cigar is composed of three types of tobacco leaves: the wrapper, the binder, and the filler. These are essential to the overall quality of the cigar.
Wrapper: The wrapper of the cigar is what you see visually when looking at its outer appearance. It’s the first identifier to your mind that it’s a cigar. Also, the cigar band, the “brand label” will be wrapped around the wrapper of the cigar. The band/label would be found at the top or bottom of the cigar. And, some brands will have double cigar band around the cigar. Wrappers come in many different shades and contribute to the cigar’s overall taste, as well as how it burns. The wrapper is the leaf that holds everything all together, to ensure a leak-free seam such as a condom, to put it more bluntly. Wrappers come in many different shades, it could be a very lightly colored wrapper, a more “natural” tone, or a darker colored one, better known as a “Maduro.” Maduro wrappers are considered to be stronger, which means its delivery is stronger. This is what we cigar smokers would call a “full smoke” cigar. For example, Hennessy is much stronger tasting than Cîroc, but you might like both. However, with a cigar, stronger means stronger, so you want to be an experienced smoker, and like the darker colored cigar, and not trying this as your first one. Furthermore, a darker wrapper doesn’t necessarily always translate to strength. A Maduro wrapper is darker simply because it has been allowed to darken through the aging process.
Filler: The filler has the most effect on the strength of the cigar. The leaves for the filler are taken from all parts of the tobacco plant. The base of the plant provides a light flavor, the center has a milder flavor, and the crown is a richer texture. All of the leaves must go through a curing, fermentation, and aging process, this is crucial in the building stages of a cigar, the longer the aging process, the better the cigar. Cigars are made with what you would call a “long-filler.” This process is very different than with cigarettes. And, long filler cigars are generally of higher quality than short filler, as short filler tends to be leftover scraps that are rolled into a cigar. Just as leftover grapes when making wine is turned into Riesling, still a nice wine, but you would prefer Gabbiano Chianti or something more of your preference and palate choice.
Binder: The binder leaf goes around the filler leaves creating a bunch. The leaf used as the binder needs its central vein removed, creating two separate halves. The binder leaf is best if it comes from the base or low middle of the tobacco plant. These leaves can come from the same plant as the filler leaves and also go through the same processes.
Health Risk: Ultimately, cigar smoking isn’t safer than cigarette smoking, even though you don’t inhale the smoke. Yes, you are still exposed to nicotine, but your cigar consumption will nowhere near be as many in a day or week of a cigarette smoker. Therefore, this reduces your nicotine intake and the possibility of cancer. And, just as cigarettes, cigars can still give off a substance dependency, because of the nicotine, but it’s not as likely. Overall, the health effects of occasional cigar smoking still aren’t as clear, medically.
Cigar Hype (Why Cigars are Cool): Cigars stand out because they are made from high-quality materials and a lot of care and attention goes into the making every single cigar. In fact, it has been estimated that it takes over one hundred steps to properly produce a single Cuban cigar. And, many of these practices have not changed over the last hundred years or so, and it won’t ever. The craftsmanship and quality over quantity will always take priority when it comes to cigar making. Therefore, this dedication and attention to detail is another thing that sets cigars apart from cigarettes that are massed produce from machines and dipped in toxic chemicals. According to the FDA, “Cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, including 43 known cancer-causing (carcinogenic) compounds and 400 other toxins. These cigarette ingredients include nicotine, tar, and carbon monoxide, as well as formaldehyde, ammonia, hydrogen cyanide, arsenic, and DDT” (How Cigarettes Are Made and How You Can Make a Plan to Quit, 2018). Therefore, this is the stuff that’s put into cigarettes that are cancerous or cancer-causing, which is why they are highly addictive and cigarette smokers are dependent on the nicotine, because of these damaging and added chemicals. Cigars are not at all infused, enhanced, or exposed to harsh and toxic chemicals. They are 100% of the tobacco leaf, only, which is much better for you, if you’re going to smoke. Lastly, cigars are for the “Connoisseurs” and cigarettes are for those, who are “addicted.”
Is it a Blunt? Well since it’s held in your hand as a blunt, a premium cigar is definitely not a “weed blunt”, it may be close in the region based on the names and particulars, but the craftsmanship is not, as explained above. You are to never, and I mean never, break down an expensive premium quality cigar that’s been hand-rolled and use it for marijuana. That’s a “No, No.” They have wrapping papers for that. You can check your local markets and smoke shops for those purposes.
How Cigarettes Are Made and How You Can Make a Plan to Quit. (2018, July 9). Retrieved from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: https://www.fda.gov/TobaccoProducts/Labeling/ProductsIngredientsComponents/ucm529397.htm
Author: Naimah Pears
Welcome, I ‘am Naimah “Ni” Pears! I always wanted to have a platform to share some of my creativity, as well as my enjoyment for cigars, bourbon, and whiskey, and too many other cool things to name all here. However, I hope you will continue to visit my post(s), to learn more about me, as well as my reviews on cigars from my perspective. I ‘am not an expert, but I have more than enough experience to share with you, my sentiments about cigars. Also, please do visit my listed social media sites for a more personable connection with me.
Thanks for visiting and I hope you’ve become inspired. Peace and Love! Ni