What’s the Difference Between Cigarettes and Cigars?

Man with sunglasses smoking a cigar

They may both be tobacco-based products, but any cigar aficionado will tell you that Cuban cigars and cigarettes are most definitely not the same.

Not only are the two physically dissimilar, but there are also significant cultural differences between cigars and cigarettes that can impact how they are each smoked and enjoyed.

We’re going to be taking a look at some of the differences between these two types of smokes.

What’s in a Cigar?

There are some very obvious physical differences between cigarettes and cigars, most notably the size. Cigars tend to be far bigger and thicker than cigarettes because of how they’re constructed and what’s in them.

A cigar is made entirely of tobacco, with the filler section of a quality cigar consisting of hand-folded and bunched tobacco leaves, and the wrapper is a large tobacco leaf skilfully holding the cigar together.

Cigarettes, however, are typically made from shredded tobacco leaf, leaf stems and other tobacco byproducts, wrapped in paper. Unlike cigars, cigarettes also have a filter included as the smoke is being drawn down into the lungs.

A cigar and an ashtray on a bar

Do You Smoke A Cigar Like A Cigarette?

Seeing as both a cigar and a cigarette are smoked, it’s understandable that there may be some confusion.

Do You Inhale Cigar Smoke?

A typical cigarette will contain approximately 10mg of nicotine and as such, can be smoked and inhaled into the lungs to give you a quick nicotine kick.

Cigars, however, should not be inhaled. Cigars can contain anywhere from 100-200mg of nicotine which is far too much to be inhaled and could have some serious health ramifications. As such, when smoking a cigar, the smoke should only be held in your mouth before exhaling in order to achieve the most flavourful smoke experience.

Are Cigars Ready to Smoke?

Cigarettes are a popular smoking method because they’re so quick and easy to use. After you buy a packet of cigarettes, all you need to do is pull one out of the box and smoke it. This will likely take you 5-10 minutes and then you can move on.

Cigars, however, take a little more preparation, as you will need to cut the cap, and can take anywhere from 30 minutes to well over an hour to smoke.

How to Prepare a Cigar

First of all, the cap of the cigar needs to be removed or opened with a special cigar cutter in order to create a gap for the smoke to be drawn through.

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.

We explore the method for lighting a cigar in more detail on our blog.

How to light a cigar

Why Are Cigars More Expensive Than Cigarettes?

Another important distinction between cigars and cigarettes is the price. Cigars tend to be more expensive than cigarettes with a pack of 20 cigarettes costing approximately £10 whereas a single cigar could cost anywhere between £5 and £30.

This may seem steep, but when you break it down, it’s actually pretty reasonable. A single cigar can contain the same amount of tobacco as an entire pack of cigarettes as well as 10-20 times the amount of nicotine.

Then there’s quality to contend with. Cigar smoking is not a quick nicotine fix – it’s an experience. Cigars all taste different and much like with coffee or wine, being able to detect the subtle notes of flavour in a cigar can be incredibly rewarding.

Man in a suit smoking a cigar at a wedding

Who Smokes Cigars?

14.1% of adults in the UK smoke, which may not seem a lot but it actually equates to around 6.9 million in the population. As such, smoking cigarettes can be seen as pretty commonplace.

Cigar smoking, however, is typically seen as being more sophisticated. People even smoke cigars as a form of celebration, which has led to cigars being associated with occasions such as weddings and the birth of a child.

If you are a cigarette smoker who would like to experience the pleasures of cigar smoking, why not browse our wide range of Cuban cigars available online now?

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