Cigars vs Cigarettes: What’s the Difference?

Cigars vs Cigarettes

While cigars and cigarettes are both tobacco-based products, they are certainly not the same. There are a number of both physical and cultural differences between cigars and cigarettes that can impact on how they are each smoked and enjoyed. We take a look at some of the differences between these two types of smokes.


Physical Difference

Comparing a cigar with a cigarette, you will quickly see that there are some obvious physical differences between the two. Most notably is the size, with cigars typically being much bigger and thicker than a cigarette. The way cigars and cigarettes are constructed is also quite different.

A cigar will be made entirely of tobacco, with the filler section of a quality cigar comprising of hand-folded and bunched tobacco leaves, and the wrapper being a large tobacco leaf skilfully holding the cigar together. On the other hand, a cigarette will typically contain shredded tobacco leaf, leaf stems and other tobacco byproducts, and are wrapped in paper.


Difference in the Way They Are Smoked

There are also differences in the way that a cigar and cigarette are prepared and smoked. While a cigarette is ready to be simply lit the second it is pulled from the box; a cigar needs a couple of extra steps before it is ready to be smoked.


Preparing a Cigar

The cap needs to be removed, or opened, with a special cigar cutter to create a gap for the smoke to be drawn through into the mouth. Lighting a cigar is also not as simple as lighting a cigarette, as the foot of the cigar must be gently toasted with a lighter or match, without the flame coming into direct contact with the tobacco.


Inhaling Versus Holding Smoke

One of the biggest differences between cigars and cigarettes is the way in which they are smoked. While you are meant to draw the smoke from a cigarette into your lungs, a cigar’s smoke should only be held in the mouth before exhaling, as the tobacco and nicotine levels in a cigar are too strong to be inhaled.


Filtered Versus Unfiltered

This is partly the reason for another physical difference between the two: a cigarette has a filter, but a cigar does not, as no smoke is being drawn into the lungs. Another reason why cigars do not need to use a filter is that they do not have additives mixed into the tobacco blend as cigarettes do.


Difference in Smoking Experience

As a cigar is bigger and contains more tobacco than a cigarette, they contain significantly more nicotine. A cigar will typically contain between 100 and 200mg of nicotine, whereas a cigarette will only contain 10mg of nicotine. In addition, their difference in size also contributes to very different smoking times.

The average time it takes to smoke a cigarette is around six minutes, but it can take an hour to smoke a cigar if you pace yourself well. Smoking a cigar is less about a quick hit of nicotine, and more a relaxing way to spend an afternoon, enjoying the flavours of the smoke as you read, chat or even play a round of golf!


Differences in Price and Worth

However, when you consider the fact that one cigar can contain the same amount of tobacco as a whole pack of cigarettes, and contains ten to twenty times the amount of nicotine, the price can actually be quite reasonable. When you also factor in the quality element of a cigar, you will realise that they are well worth the money.


Cultural Differences

Cigar smoking is typically seen as being more of a sophisticated act than that of smoking. Cigars can be seen as a celebratory smoke, with traditions relating to cigar smoking being connected with special occasions, such as weddings and the birth of a new baby. While more people in the world smoke cigarettes than cigars, it is generally considered a less sophisticated habit.

If you are a cigarette smoker who would like to experience all that cigars have to offer for a change, check out our extensive range online, or take a look at our blog to see recommendations of cigars for new cigar smokers.

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